As we journey through this Easter season, we rejoice in the risen Christ who makes all things new. That newness of life is all around us as I enjoy the colorful and fragrant blooms of the trees and flowers, witness new life in the bird hatchlings and wobbly legged fawns, and feel the vibrancy returning to the church post pandemic. It is certainly a time of renewal and transformation and we, the church, are part of what God is up to in the world.
Our faith beckons us, though, that we let our souls go beyond what our eyes can see, beyond what we are comfortable with, and beyond our fears. Recently while preparing for a sermon, I recalled a book I studied years ago by Kelly Fryer called Reclaiming the “C” Word: Daring to be Church Again. I revisited that book and although written almost 20 years ago, it still speaks to where the church is today. Over the summer months we’ll be exploring what it means to be a church, why we are called to be a church, and how we as a church can engage in this new thing that God is up to in the world.
There are already great new things happening at St. John’s that I spoke of last month such as our multi-generational Sunday School, Youth Mission Trip, and partnership with Camp Mount Luther for our Vacation Bible School. However, there is also another new thing that the Holy Spirit is up to at St. John’s and within our Synod. The Upper Susquehanna Synod has decided to sell their current property to decrease overhead expenses and was looking to lease space from one of the churches that might have space not being utilized. St. John’s has been selected by the Synod Council as the first location they are going to consider. The space being considered for the lease is the back half of the top level of the Christian Education building where the choir room and children’s Sunday School room are currently. We are working with those groups to relocate them to other areas of the building. This is a great opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the synod, to utilize the spaces we have to their fullest potential, and to provide some additional income for the church. God is about to do another new thing at St. John’s!
Your pastor will be taking time to renew and refresh with a vacation from May 21st through June 5th. My husband and I will be traveling to Montana for our son’s graduation from his Electrician’s program and of course excited to spend time with our beautiful granddaughter and DIL. Should you need pastoral assistance during this time, please contact the church office or council officers who will put you in touch with a covering pastor.
Hoping that you enjoy the new life around you and can open your soul to what God is up to beyond what your eyes can see!