A Letter from Pastor Frye
Dear Family and Friends of St. Luke,
Grace and Peace
Those who sowed with tears will reap with songs of joy. Psalm 126:5
This excerpt from the Psalm we will hear on the Third Sunday of Advent points us toward hope while simultaneously acknowledging that life is hard. Tears flow frequently at the recognition of loss, over the sting of death, the dread of war, and whatever else the human experience dishes out. At the same time, we who follow the Christ of God have the blessed assurance of God’s faithfulness. We believe and trust in the promise of reconciliation, wholeness, and perpetual light in Christ.
In the meantime, each of us carries our cross though the wilderness of this life’s reality. These words from the Psalmist are spoken at a turning point. If we are honest, we can acknowledge that we are at a turning point as well. What we do, the choices we make, matter. Our decisions have an impact, our lives have agency. Sitting back in passive existence is not a viable option.
While we spend time in the weeks ahead preparing for Christmas and anticipating a new year, what can we do to rest in the hope that God in Christ has prepared a way for us through the wilderness? Themes of Waiting and Preparing are in the air. They go hand in hand. As we wait, we can actively prepare. However, this does not mean that our tendency toward busyness is at all what God intends for our lives.
So, rather than convincing yourself that you must do every thing, attend every activity, and run yourself ragged in the weeks ahead, consider the option of less. Less indeed can be more. When we inventory our priorities and allegiances and make the necessary adjustments to realign more faithfully with God’s will for our lives, we will reap with songs of joy.
May each of you and your families near and far know the blessing of a meaningful, intentional, and simplified celebration of the birth of Jesus who came among us in humility, vulnerability, and with a mandate to love. Let us be more like Jesus. The world needs our witness and the light we can share.
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Sundays and Special Days
December 3 *1st Sunday of Advent; The psalmist’s plea in Psalm 80:2 has become familiar to us in the Advent prayers
December 6 *1st Wednesday of Advent: CMC service at Scotland Fellowship Church—7pm
December 10 *2nd Sunday of Advent; John calls people to repent, to clear the decks, to completely reorder their lives so that nothing gets in the way of the Lord’s coming. 2nd Sunday Outreach & Fellowship
December 13 *2nd Wednesday of Advent: CMC service at Fayetteville Otterbein Church—7pm
December 17 *3rd Sunday of Advent; Isaiah and the psalmist make clear that God is turning our mourning into laughter and shouts of joy. . Baptism: Avery Grace Ocker
December 20 *3rd Wednesday of Advent: CMC service at St. Luke—7pm
December 21 *Blue Christmas: CMC service at Calvary UMC—7pm
December 24 *4th Sunday of Advent; God keeps the promise made to David to give him an everlasting throne. December 24 *Christmas Eve: The angel tells Mary that God will give David’s throne to her son Jesus.
December 31 *1st Sunday of Christmas * 22nd Sunday after Pentecost; We are called not only to love God with heart, soul, and mind, but also to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Sunday Worship Services
10 a.m. every Sunday; In-person and online
Wednesday Healing Services
We have a weekly service of Prayer, Healing, and Holy Communion every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. No service December 6.
Wednesday Prayer Service
Prayer & Share via Zoom meets Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. On hiatus until January 3
Parish records—New Members
November 12, 2023
Rich & Judy Wingfield, Bruce & Janice Bartle,
Jeremy & Heather Goetz, Aden Burkhalter,
Jim & Helen Hepfer, Barbara Brown and Kathleen Stoner
Dottie Park—October 10, 2023
Jeffrey Smith—October 14, 2023
Marilyn Mueller—November 11, 2023
Thank you! We are grateful for your generous giving to support St. Luke’s ministries & mission. Your contributions continue to grow our community.
If you’d like to request a special card shower for a special someone, please reach out to the office at St. Luke!
Confidential prayer requests can be made online: stlukechambersburg.org/connect
Adult Faith Formation
Join us during Advent for a study called Advent Conspiracy! Learn more about focusing on the real meaning of the season.
Looking forward to January—we will learn more about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his faith.
February & beyond—Do you have something to share? Are you interested in leading a Faith Formation study? Contact Shelly for more information.
No Faith Formation classes for adults and children—December 24 & 31.
The Christmas Project
Join us in blessing local families in need. Pick a name or family off the Christmas tree in the Gathering Area and purchase items to bless them this Christmas. Return all gifts by December 10 so we can get them to the families! All families are located in the Chambersburg/Shippensburg area.
Family Pajama Party
Families with children, join us for dinner and Christmas fun on Sunday, December 17 from 4-6pm. Wear your pajamas! Sign up on the bulletin board or by contacting Shelly.
Young Adult Fellowship Dinner
RSVP by December 10 for this catered dinner and time of fellowship. You won’t be disappointed! Thursday, December 28 @ 6:00 p.m.
Contact: Shelly Davies [email protected]
Hanging of the Greens & Trimming of the Trees
Join us this Saturday, December 2 @ 9:00 a.m. to set up the greens for Advent—trees, wreaths, etc. Then join us again on Sunday, December 17 following worship to decorate the trees for Christmas. All are invited and there just may be cookies!
Cookie Exchange with a Purpose!
Following worship December 10, join us in the Fellowship Hall for a cookie exchange. Bring 3 dozen cookies –2 dozen to exchange and 1 dozen to leave at the church. These cookies will then be packed up and delivered to our Homebound members, along with a signed card, to bless them this Advent season.
All are invited to join us December 14 @ 5:30 p.m. Meet at St. Luke and we will walk up to the Luther Ridge Inn where we will carol through skilled care and then join the personal care Inn residents in the dining room for a sing-a-long. Dress festively.
Souper bowl of Caring
Coming February 11, 2024! Wear your favorite sports jersey to church for worship and bring your coins to donate! We will collect the coins in soup pots so be prepared to make some noise! All proceeds will go to feed the local food insecure.
Congregation, Council, Committees
COUNCIL HIGHLIGHTS September/October/November 2023
· Council formulated a spending plan to be sent to the Finance Committee to be included in the 2024 budget.
· The resignation of Christine Cressler, Office Manager was accepted.
· A final draft of the updated Constitution & Bylaws has been received and will be assembled for presentation to council at the November meeting for review and approval.
· Regular monthly giving for August was higher than for the same period last year.
· A defect has been discovered with the Nave lighting and is being researched by the Property Committee for a resolution.
· The Finance Committee presented the Spending Plan for 2024 for council review. The plan will be further discussed and voted on at the November meeting.
· Regular giving continues in a positive direction.
· The office copier maintenance contract is under review and may require some revision.
· The Property Committee has a contracted with Brent Barnhart to shovel snow from the sidewalks and plow the parking lot this winter.
· Repair of the defect in the Nave lighting will progress as the need arises.
· The piano tuning will be done in December.
· Giving continues to be up as it has been for the last 32 weeks.
· The revised Constitution & Bylaws has been accepted by council and will be sent to the synod for review and approval.
· At the annual meeting we will be electing two voting members, plus a possible third this year, to Synod Assembly.
· The Personnel committee is seeking to hire an Office Assistant.
· The Christmas Project this year has 52 opportunities of giving to needy families.
· 2024 offering envelopes are available in the gathering area
Mark your calendars: Annual Congregational Meeting: Sunday, January 21 following worship
St Luke/St. Paul Task Force Update
At its most recent meeting, the Task Force made two recommendations to each congregation’s church council. The first recommendation was to hold a combined meeting of both councils to explore together the matter of willingness to move forward and various possibilities that exist for collaborative ministry. The second recommendation (and this is primarily directed at the St. Paul church council) is to develop an action plan to be implemented in the event of a vacancy in the current supply preacher position.
Meanwhile, various areas and projects were identified for continued and possible new collaboration. These include a joint newsletter, website, purchasing of office supplies, combined worship opportunities, musical ensembles, and pastoral care.
As this process of discovery and relationship building continues, please keep the members of the task force and church councils in your prayers for a discerning heart and willingness to risk for the mission of Christ’s Church.