May God fill you will his New goodness everyday in 2019 and may the love of Jesus overflow from you to others throughout the year!
Siblings in Christ,
For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:13-14a
Happy Pride month! In the month of June we take time to celebrate and recognize that people are complex creatures, and that our gender identity (how one understands who they are within society; masculinity, femininity, etc.), biological sex (genetic traits), and sexual orientation (physical and emotional attraction), are characteristics of our being that are more than boxes that we check off, or mere binaries where we identify as one way or another.
As a society and culture, we attempt to simplify these complex realities and assume that all people are cisgender (identify as the gender assigned at birth) heterosexuals (physical and emotional attraction between male/female pairs). In making these assumptions, we deny so many, including ourselves, the space to be who God has made us to be. In turn, we miss out on the richness and beauty of God’s creation being lived out through people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and/or asexual (abbreviated as LGBTQIA).
What are some ways that we can celebrate Pride month together as a community?
● Be aware of the language that we use in conversation, and what assumptions we make based on a person’s gender, appearance, or partner. Honor the request when someone shares their preferred pronouns or name.
● Research and Donate to non-profits that work for full inclusion and support of LGBTQIA people; for example the Trevor Project (www.trevor.org) whose purpose is to provide various resources to LGBTQIA teens in crisis, and Reconciling Works (www.reconcilingworks.org) whose mission is to work towards full inclusion of LGBTQIA persons in the life of the Lutheran church and its ecumenical partners.
● Show love and support to those in your family who come out as LGBTQIA. Let your family and friends know, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, that your love for them is unconditional.
● Ask questions and learn more. Remember, your ability to comprehend or understand is not required for another person to be able to live and love authentically.
As we continue this journey together, dear siblings in Christ, may we treat every person we meet with reverent care, for they are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Peace in Christ Jesus,
Pastor Lauren Applegate
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Greetings from your New Jerusalem “Apples” Church Council.
Congregation members are invited to attend Church Council meetings as spectators. Our meetings run 7:00–9:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. If you have a question or concern that you want addressed at a council meeting, please notify me by Sunday of that week or place it in the question box located in the Narthex. Of course, you can always share your thoughts and concerns with any current council member and ask them for help as well. As your Church Council President, I am available by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-216-1016.
The Church Council officers for 2019 are:
President: Marianne Zellner
Vice President: Pat Leith
Recording Secretary: Barbara Young (Non-Council Member)
Treasurer: Terry Ravier
Council Members: Sharon Bender, Glen Campbell, Kathy Fenstermacher, Cindy Hart,
Pat Leith, Tina McCardle, Terry Ravier, Jere Reiss, Marianne Zellner, Cindy Ziegler
To each of you, may God direct your paths as you serve your term(s) on the
Church Council and as a liaison to the various committees of
New Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church.
May 2019 Summary
May’s council meeting agenda included more work on the revisions to the building use procedure and forms as well as discussion surrounding financial best practices. We also approved the Endowment Committee’s recommendations for the Spring 2019 Grant distribution and discussed the roof proposal that was approved at the May 19, 2019 congregation meeting. The closing for the sale of the building is finally completed and Pastor shared that a joint press release was being worked on with Saucon Community Church and that in the fall there will be a special service. Facility requests were reviewed and committee reports were shared. There is still a need for members for the Mutual Ministry Committee and volunteers for Vacation Bible School. Anyone interested in either volunteer opportunity should speak to me.
As always, I ask for your continued prayers for all the council members and all those in leadership positions for this congregation.
Peace be with you,
Marianne Zellner, Council President
Council Question Box
No questions this month.
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Mr. Phil Diaz' Music Corner
Music has always played a pivotal role in Phil's life. Success at the PMEA District, Region and State Chorus festivals motivated Phil to pursue vocal studies at the collegiate level. Studies at The University of The Arts, The Boston Conservatory, and East Stroudsburg University have only strengthened his musical foundation. He has performed with the Pennsylvania Lyric Opera, Amici Opera, Boston Conservatory Opera Studio, Philly Pops, and at Northampton Community College. Phil has extensive conducting and music directing experience having directed ensembles at The University of the Arts, Northampton Community College, Pennsylvania Youth Theatre, and Northampton Area High School. Many of his vocal students have successfully auditioned into music programs at DeSales, Muhlenberg, Ithaca, Northwestern, The New England Conservatory and Manhattan School of Music. Phil is a proud member of The National Association of Teachers of Singing, Lehigh Valley Arts Council, and The Nazareth Bath Regional Chamber of Commerce. In his spare time, Phil enjoys reading, working out, and traveling. Phil is very excited to be a part of New Jerusalem community and looks forward to a great year!
All are welcome ~ Please join us for choir practice
on Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m.