Christmas Season Message

A Word from the Pastors

At 7:30PM on Thursday evening, December 24, the congregation of St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and its extended community of faith will gather for Zoom worship to celebrate the miracle of “God-with-us”. It’s such a different year, a time that we are unfortunately scarred and understandably scared by the COVID-19 pandemic. So we won’t be in our sanctuary for worship. We  are trying to be careful and safe, to follow state and city and medical guidelines, to respect and protect one another. And our congregation site doesn’t have a large yard or a parking lot (one single space exists!) where we can gather outside. So we’re gathering together in our separate homes to celebrate the story of God’s love and our own salvation. Whether or not you choose to be on Zoom or on your phone, you are invited to have wine or grape juice, bread or a cracker available for the celebration of Holy Communion (All believers in Jesus Christ are welcome to share in this sacrament!… and a candle to light and to hold at the end of worship as we sing “Silent Night, Holy Night”.

Christmas, the shortest season of the Church’s “liturgical year”, begins on the first stroke after midnight on December 25 and ends twelve days later, at midnight on January 5, Epiphany Eve. This season celebrates the birth of Jesus – born in the company of animals and angels, shepherds and kings, the young and the old, the wise and the foolish, the humble and the hateful. Christmas is not only a time when we celebrate the amazing announcement that GOD BECAME A HUMAN. It should also be a time when we remember that he arrived into an unfriendly world, destined and determined to be a friend to the entire world. JESUS WAS BORN TO GIVE US NEW LIFE, BORN TO DELIVER US FROM GRAVE AND FROM HELL. To the miracle of his birth and the mystery of his undeserved suffering – even death on a cross – Jesus has brought the deeper mystery of unmerited love and the miracle of our new birth.

A Christmas Eve prayer:

Living and loving God, on this holy night we gather – 

to stand with shepherds, amazed at your glory;

to sing with angels, rejoicing in your work;

to wait with Joseph, trusting in your promise;

to sit with Mary, cradling your love.

May the good news of this night inspire us to tell the world of our great joy:

For to us is born a Savior,

the Messiah, the Lord.

Glory and praise to you forever!  Amen.

 

HAPPIER NEW YEAR!

For many years (except December 31, 2017 when both Pastors were quite ill and the weather was frigid!) St. Peter’s has observed the transition from one year into the next with a “New Year’s Eve Potluck Party” followed by an 11:00PM “New Year’s Watchnight Service” with songs and prayers, scripture and sermon, hugs of peace and love, and the sharing of Holy Communion. This year, because of  the pandemic, we will not have the Party or the Watchnight worship.

A simple New Year’s Eve prayer:

Jesus, thank you!

Jesus, forgive me!

Jesus, lead and guide me!

Jesus, empower and use me!

I love you, Lord!  Amen.

FIRST SUNDAY OF CHRISTMAS

Pastor David Maddox II, “son” and friend of our St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church family, 

will be our 10:00AM Zoom preacher on December 27, the First Sunday of Christmas. We will also observe “College and Career Student Sunday” – we hope to hear from some of our St. Peter’s students who are continuing their educational journey beyond high school.

Students, this COVID-19 season is such a challenging and confusing time! We pray for your good health and safety through these days, for peace and sleep, for sanity and wisdom, for continued opportunities and the inspiration to stay on the path. And we encourage and challenge you to continue to connect your unfolding life with God’s creative and redeeming love!

  Church Council

Your elected servant-leaders did have a Zoom meeting on Monday, December 14.They will meet again on January 11 for a Zoom meeting beginning at 7:00PM. Some notes from December’s meeting:

  • Financial support has been consistent and committed during these pandemic days, both from 

members and also from the extended community (neighbors… former members and friends from faraway places). At the end of November, total Budget Expenses were $3,589.00 more than Budget Income, which is not a deficit to panic about. We are experiencing some savings in utilities, continue to pay salary and insurance costs, and have missed some of the rentals of our property for various events. We anticipate our 2021 Budget to be close to the 2020 Budget.  

  • Water leak damage (broken radiator in the sanctuary that brought flowing waters through our Church Kitchen ceiling) has been “remediated” (fancy term used by the company doing the work); there is additional repair work to be done in the kitchen. Our insurance will cover most of these expenses.
  • Church Council elected to apply the last three quarterly Mission Offerings, which had never been designated, to assist our Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA.
  • “Reopening” continues to be in a holding pattern, guided by medical wisdom and government rule. 
  •  We are looking at the possibility of a Zoom “Annual Meeting” early next year, especially in order to approve a 2021 Budget and to elect four Church Council members.  

 

Sunday School

On most Sundays, immediately following Zoom worship and beginning a bit after 11:00AM, there will be Zoom Sunday School for children and teens. Tune in. Invite.

KNOW OF OUR LOVE, OUR GRATITUDE, AND OUR PRAYERS FOR YOU!

Pastor Neil & Pastor Gwen

Upcoming Events

Jul
14
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jul 14 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jul
17
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jul 17 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jul
21
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jul 21 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jul
28
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jul 28 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jul
31
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jul 31 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.