Dear Family and Friends of St. Luke and St. Paul:
*Grace and Peace to you.
As we have been approaching the cusp of another new year, I have heard many people express relief in being able consign 2023 to the history books. “Let’s ring out the old year with gratitude that it is finally behind us.” The thing is, don’t many of us hear (or say) something like this every year? If that is the case, it is unfortunate. After all, shouldn’t we still be basking in the comfort and joy of the gift that is Christmas?
Instead of gleefully watching 2023 disappear in the rearview mirror, what would it be like if we attempted to both review the year past with gratitude for lessons learned and look ahead to the new year with boldness and hope? I think it is in our DNA to be able to do two things at the same time. In fact, it is frequently in the effort to do both/and rather than either/or that we discover more of the truth that sets us free.
Psalm 29 concludes with these words:
O Lord, give strength to your people;
give them, O Lord, the blessings of peace.
Most of the verses of Psalm 29 preceding this verse reflect on the power and possibilities of the voice of the Lord. This suggests that if we desire to be the beneficiaries of both God’s strength and the blessings of peace, we have both the duty and delight of listening for the voice of the LORD. This may seem overwhelming, strange, or even unfamiliar, but it remains to be understood as a core practice and central orientation of anyone who would identify as a follower of Christ Jesus.
While each of us can take time apart and alone to listen for God in our individual lives, we are also called to make this a practice of our life together as a community of faith. For the past several years now, the congregations of St. Luke and St. Paul have been exploring ways to work together. . . ways that will increase the effectiveness and faithfulness of our common mission in our area.
This next year, may we be more intentional, proactive, and bold in responding to the voice of the LORD. Continue to pray for and encourage the work of the Joint Task Force and both congregational councils. Pray for one another and for an ability to see beyond the walls of our physical buildings so that we may behold God’s vision for our lives of service to our community and world.
May we receive the gift of strength and the blessing of peace in this new year.
In Christ’s love for you,
Pastor Christopher Frye
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Sundays and Special Days
January 6 *Epiphany; The feast of Epiphany (“manifestation”) concludes the Christmas season with a celebration of God’s glory revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. 7:00 p.m. service
January 7 *Baptism of Our Lord; Our re-creation in baptism is an image of the Genesis creation, where the Spirit of God moved over the waters.
January 14 *2nd Sunday After Epiphany: All the baptized have a calling in God’s world. 2nd Sunday Fellowship-Soup, Sandwich & Sweet
January 21 *3rd Sunday After Epiphany; As we continue through the time after Epiphany, stories of the call to discipleship show us the implications of our baptismal calling to show Christ to the world.
January 28 *4th Sunday After Epiphany; In Deuteronomy God promises to raise up a prophet like Moses, who will speak for God
February 4 *5th Sunday After Epiphany; In Isaiah the one God who sits above the earth and numbers the stars also strengthens the powerless.
February 11 *Transfiguration of Our Lord; The Sundays after Epiphany began with Jesus’ baptism and end with three disciples’ vision of his transfiguration. 2nd Sunday Fellowship
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
December 17 – Avery Grace Ocker
December 9—Melanie Bays
December 17—Rae Drachbar
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
We will learn more about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his faith. This four-session video-based study looks at Bonhoeffer’s writing and speaking and how he not only helped transform an entire faith community in Germany during WW2, but how his beliefs continue to impact the Christian faith of people throughout the world today.
February & beyond—Do you have something to share? Are you interested in leading a Faith Formation study? Contact Shelly for more information.
The Christmas Project
We did it! We collected two gifts for each child, a $25 gift card for groceries and a box of personal care items for each family, 12 families in total! We also delivered to those 12 families + 30 more! The Christmas Project in total served 640 families, with a total of 1680 kids, in our local area. Thank you for helping St. Luke to be a part of this local blessing.
Tuesday Morning Bible Study
Tuesday Morning Bible Study meets each first and third Tuesday of the month at 11:00 am. Pastor Frye leads a study through the verses from the lectionary for the week. Drop in anytime your able—we’d love to have you! We start up again on January 16—see you then.
Soup, Sandwich & Sweet
Join us during our 2nd Sunday Fellowship in January following worship for a soup, sandwich, & sweet fellowship. No need to bring anything, just yourself and your friends!
Souper Bowl of Caring
February 11 is the day! What if everyone watching the Superbowl gave just $1 to hunger? Imagine the change we’d make. St. Luke will continue its tradition of collecting coins on the morning of February 11 in soup pots. Bring your coins and make some noise! For a little bit of fun, don’t forget to wear your favorite sports jersey to worship! Donations will help support local hunger initiatives.
Grounds For Hope
Grounds for Hope is a recovery fellowship that meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 5:30 pm. We start with a potluck dinner, followed by a time of fellowship and study. Please join us and reach out to any you know who might be interested in a group focused on recovery. Our next fellowship will be Wednesday, January 17.
Did you know that we currently serve 100 students from Fayetteville, Scotland, and Guilford Hills Elementaries? We provide each child two breakfast items, two meal items, two snacks, two fruits, one juice and one milk. We do this every other month, with Mt. Pleasant providing meals the off months. We also have monetary support from Fayetteville Otterbein Church and another church is voting on joining us soon. The body of Christ works best when we join together to serve. Join us February 1st at 9:00 am in the Fellowship Hall to start packing for February.
Congregation, Council, Committees
COUNCIL HIGHLIGHTS December 2023
COUNCIL HIGHLIGHTS December 2023
· The 2024 Spending Plan (Budget) has been approved by council and will be presented at the annual Congregational Meeting for final approval.
· Council approved a slate of four candidates for council for 2024.
· A 2023 year-in-review video will be shown on the big screens at the annual meeting.
· The newly revised constitution has been approved by council and forwarded to the synod for their approval.
· The personnel committee is advertising for an office assistant .
· Council approved two voting members for the 2024 Synod Assembly.
· Monthly current giving continues to be higher than the same period last year.
Notice of Annual Congregational Meeting
The annual meeting of St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church will be conducted on Sunday, January 21 immediately following the 10:00 am church service. There will be two items of old business to vote on and tentatively four items of new business. The final agenda will be presented at the meeting. Old business involves approving the minutes of the 2023 annual meeting and accepting the annual report. New business will be to vote on the candidates for church council as follows: Michael Peters (2nd term); Rodger Vorhauer (2nd term); JoAnn Wildeson (2nd term) and Jeff Seilhamer. Approve the selection of Shelly and Charles Davies as 2024 Synod Assembly voting members. Approve the Spending Plan (Budget) for 2024. Approve the newly revised Constitution (Tentative, pending Synod approval).