Thursday, October 16, 2014

A journey to Korea


Bishop Jeremiah Park recently led a group of pastors and laity from the Susquehanna Conference on a cross-cultural experience in Korea, his country of birth. The trip included visits to vital and growing Korean Methodist Churches, opportunities for dialogue with Korean Methodist pastors and staff, praise and worship experiences (seen above), some sight seeing, and cultural experiences.

Bishop Jeremiah J. Park led a group of 34 pastors and laity on a journey to Korea in early October. The trip lasted twelve days including travel days.

The first seven days were spent learning, observing, and participating in some of the most vital and growing Korean Methodist Churches, with opportunities for dialogue with the pastors and staff of the churches.

Each morning began with worship and praise at 5 a.m., the way Korean Christians live out their discipleship — always starting with prayer and praise in their church before they go about their work and their day.

It is hoped that those who attended learned about the discipleship and spirituality of Korean Methodism, as well as how and why these churches are vital and growing. The group was also seeking to bring back helpful ideas to share with churches in each district.

The last three days of the journey were spent exploring the sights of Korea and experiencing Korean culture at its best.

Those invited to participate in the trip were members of the extended Cabinet plus two persons from each district. Some districts invited two pastors, some a pastor and lay person, some a pastor and spouse, intentionally focusing on those under the age of 40 in order to allow younger leaders to have this cross-cultural experience and receive valuable learning.

An article will follow in the December issue of Susquehanna LINK sharing some of what was learned on the trip.

A cenotaph (left) erected in honor of Rev. Henry Gerhard Appenzeller (from Pennsylvania), the first Methodist missionary to Korea, can be found at the Yanghwajin Foreigners’ Cemetery in Seoul, South Korea. His son and daughter-in-law are honored beside.

Double Take at Wesley Forest

Forty people participated in the Wesley Forest Double Take event.


By Emily Sliski and Anne Horton

The first Wesley Forest Double Take, a fundraising run held on September 27, was a great success. There were some awesome runners, amazing volunteers, perfect weather, and beautiful fall colors.

Five states were represented among the 40 runners who raised just over $2,000 for Wesley Forest camper scholarships and even registered a camper for 2015 summer camp.

The Double Take included a 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer route. Participants had the option of signing up for 5k, 10k, or both. Many runners took on the Double Take challenge and ran both routes.

Those who came out on top for the 5k were Jennifer Tims and Steven May. Those who took home the Double Take first place trophies were D.D. Shea and James Myers. How cool is it that all of those just mentioned were either Wesley Forest summer staff members or volunteer counselors this past summer.

Unique handmade trophies were given to the winners of all the races.

There were a few folks who chose to walk a 1.4 mile route who enjoyed conversation, nature, and a relaxing, slow-paced experience. They were all winners.

This was such a wonderful experience that we will be making it an annual event. We have some big things planned for the run next fall. Mark your calendars for September 26, 2015, and come out to the second Wesley Forest Double Take. See you there.

Jennifer Tims and Melanie Weidner came first and second respectively in the 5K race at Wesley Forest. Both ladies were summer staff at Wesley Forest in 2014.

Engaging Young Adults in Ministry


The following is part three in a series about Engaging Young Adults in Ministry. At the 2014 Susquehanna Annual Conference, we began a dialogue about the absence of young adults in the church and about how we can re-establish our relationships and ministry with them. This series is an edited transcript of that dialogue. The video of this presentation, and the full transcript, can be found at tinyurl.com/susumcAC2014.

Rev. Anna Layman Knox

My name is Anna Knox and I am a “Millennial.” I am also the pastor at Hawley United Methodist Church.

As a child in the Class of 2000, I consider myself the ultimate Millennial, and I say as a Millennial, don’t put me in a box! I have seen what happens to people who are put in boxes … they’re buried. I don’t know about you, but I want to be alive and free. My “Free to Be You and Me” recording when I was a child told me that, on repeat, I could be anything, anywhere, that I was unique, with imagination and insight, and I had the power with that to change the world.

Millennials have been taught since childhood that they could accomplish anything that they set their minds to, not by necessarily submitting to authority, but by using every resource available to us creatively to engage the world. We have been taught by you to love the world, to explore it, to serve it. “Be nice to others” we’ve been taught, “Accept everyone” you told us, “Have good self-esteem,” “Work in groups,” “Play on teams,” “Everyone gets a trophy; everyone is a winner.” And everyone in our generation from a very young age has had access to the Internet — Oh, the blessed Internet — that has made every opinion on this planet available to us at the tip of our fingers, so we have learned to consider all of the options and become open to a diverse global perspective. And somewhere along the way we got the impression that the church was not a space that was open to creativity and questioning. This generation has gotten the distinct impression that the church is a closed box.

So we must ask, “Have we shown people that the church is a place to go for authentic questioning?”

“How can the Christian community help this generation
face their doubts squarely and integrate their questions
into a robust, life of faith?”

Kinnaman tells us that young Christians, and former Christians too, see the church as not a place that allows them to express doubts. They do not feel safe admitting that faith does not always make sense. And with such a broad world-view, Millennials don’t understand when the church says that their way and their traditions are the only way. When the church tells us that we can’t express doubts about a particular theology that seems incoherent, or a tradition that doesn’t carry meaning for us, we say, “Don’t put us in that box. Let us figure out how we feel about things and walk with us while we do that. Let us ask questions that may lead to new insights for everyone.”

We think deeply, and we love widely.

My sadness is that, in our quest to find a community that will engage our questions and our doubts — that are deeply interested in that — we don’t even think to open the doors of the church. Because we’ve seen God too often embodied as judgmental and rigid.

In college I got involved with a campus ministry, one that wasn’t interested in my doubts and my questions, one that was only interested in telling me what to believe and telling me who I needed to become to be saved. And if that had been my religious wilderness experience, if that had been what led me to launch out into the world, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have ended up here, and I am pretty sure that I wouldn’t be ordained tomorrow. But I was fortunate.

“Somewhere along the way [Millenials] got the impression that
the church was not a space that 
was open to creativity and questioning. This generation has been given the distinct impression that the church is a closed box.” 

My mother got ill, and my questioning heart came home, came home to you. I found in many of you, in this community, in these communities in Pennsylvania, people who were eager and willing to listen to my questioning, doubting, angry, broken heart. You showed me that you were willing to walk with me and let me explore and question. And I am so sad that I seem to be the exception. I encounter young people every day that have not had the opportunity to have amazing mentors like I have had, to be encouraged, and also to be accountable to a community like that. 

In conversations I will often ask them to tell me about the God that they hope for but can’t seem to find. And so often, the God that they describe is the one that I know, in Jesus Christ. And I so wish that they would see that God — that loving, open God — in us. A God that is full of questions, and that answers so many questions, who welcomes every single Doubting Thomas into his embracing arms.

I am becoming a pastor for life in the United Methodist Church tomorrow, not because someone told me I had to fit myself into a particular box as to what a pastor or Christian or Methodist looked like, but because people showed me that Jesus was alive in me, and that through the unique combination of my questioning, hope-filled heart, and the beloved community that you are, that we truly could come together to transform the world that I love for the good.
And so if we really want to engage with young people, we have to dialogue with the question that Kinnaman asks, “How can the Christian community help this generation face their doubts squarely and integrate their questions into a robust life of faith?”

Consistently I see that if we get out of our church box, if we don’t allow ourselves to be buried, if we struggle and question together with Millennials, everyone is a winner. And you know Millennials love that. And maybe we’ll find that we have more in common than we thought we did, and that together we really do have the power to change this world.

Editorial: Is it a windmill moment?

By Jerry Wolgemuth, LINK Editor

“When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.” It’s an ancient Chinese Proverb that withstood the winds of time. Perhaps it’s made for this moment.

Wind is a mixed metaphor. It brings images of coats pulled tightly, trees thrashing, waves pounding, roofs surrendering. Yet wind delivered travelers, ground grain, pumped water, illuminated darkness.

You’ve no doubt noticed that “Engaging Young Adults in Ministry” is for the third time in the enviable position of page 3. We think the six chapters deserve the distinction. These six chapters have been transcribed and edited from a dialogue of a panel of young adults at the 2014 Annual Conference regarding the absence of young adults in the church. The full transcripts can be read at tinyurl.com/susumcAC2014.

Also, production began on “Authentic Space,” a video series of six sessions, each divided into three chapters of approximately 15 minutes. You can view them as they are completed at susumc.org/authenticspace.

Winds of new honesty
Two hundred years of an Americanized and clich├Ęd Christianity bring more questions than answers to young adults, and they are good at asking questions, and often, much to our dismay. This generation of young adults might be seeing some cracks in our pronouncements of faith and are honest enough to risk asking the hard questions. The church has been rather comfortable with its doctrines, and being chided into examination is ultimately a plea for honesty.
 Perhaps we can say that honesty should meet honesty at this point.

Winds of new thought
Young adults are more attuned to lateral thinking; thinking in many different directions, finding alternatives outside of worn patterns. (Heinz squeezing ketchup out of the bottom of the bottle was an invention from within the Millennial generation.) Young adults are ready, willing, and able to experiment, to find new ways of dispensing the gospel to new generations.

Winds of new attitude
This editor has had the privilege of helping to produce the “Authentic Space” videos in the conference studio. One thing stands out, and that is a congenial attitude. It is more of a “come now, let us reason together” attitude, and we ought not ignore that change to the detriment of our future. In some of the dialogues of the past it has been a posture of honest questions colliding with strong walls of defense, and new generations have walked away.

So it’s time to build windmills rather than walls. These are new and good winds for us to harness in our quest to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

It is our hope that we will give energy to the media being produced. Our future as a church depends on our attention to a young generation simply asking for a place at the table, at the altar, in the aisle, in the planning session, and every other corner of the church.

JW 

The Journey: Jesus ... a Facebook friend?

By Rev. Mike Bealla, Director of Connectional Ministries

Greetings in the name of Christ!

A few days ago I was getting a bite to eat in a local restaurant and I overheard two young people who were talking about their “Facebook” experiences. (I have the bad habit of listening in on conversations happening around me.) One proudly announced having over four hundred Facebook friends. The other lamented in having only 29 friends. Sounding supportive, the first person responded, “Well … don’t be discouraged … it took me a long time to collect that many friends.” The second person then asked an interesting question, “How many of those four hundred friends are really friends?” The answer came back, “Only a couple.”

My eavesdropping often yields insights into what’s going on in the world beyond the church. My first response was to smile and assure myself that social media sites like Facebook are valid places for friends and acquaintances to gather and share some insights into their lives. The reality is, however, the strongest of relationships take more work than simply an exchange of light-hearted moments of life shared across the Internet.

I began to wonder about what it would have been like if Jesus used Facebook. Imagine how many “friends” would have followed him. How many friend requests would Jesus have had to deal with daily? My sick sense of humor wondered if one of our beloved hymns might have been titled differently if the Internet existed back then: “What a Facebook Friend is Jesus!” As many as might have followed him on Facebook, how many ultimately would have chosen to follow him in a deeper, transformational way?

In the midst of that conversation between those young people I heard something perhaps the church ought to hear. While we might brag about the number of “friends” we have, the truth is, real friends, real and deep relationships, are a precious gift to be nurtured and treasured. They go far beyond casual words shared or a funny cartoon mass-delivered via Wi-Fi. The church is not so much about friends as it is about transforming lives.

Much of today’s popular religious theology tends to cheapen the demands of discipleship to a kind of Facebook relationship with Jesus, that proudly counts Christ’s presence on our wall — almost as if saying we follow him — is all our relationship with Jesus needs to be. A kind of casual, “Hi, Lord, I’m having a nice day walking in the park,” all too often replaces a committed prayer and worship life.

Perhaps my greatest fear about such a shallow relationship is that it is easy to come to believe this grand plan of God’s saving love is just about me and my comfort and joy.

I usually write this column with an emphasis on resources to help your church become more effective in its making of disciples for the transformation of the world. So forgive me if I sound a bit preachy this time. After all, I do have a few years experience at preaching.

I just felt the urge to pass these thoughts on, and encourage all of us to fall in love again with Christ. To re-commit ourselves to an intimate relationship with God. To recognize the Holy Spirit that longs to dwell inside of us and to remind us that there is so much more work to be done through a people called United Methodists as we make disciples for the transformation of God’s world. Together in the name of Jesus the Christ.

If you already have that kind of deep, intentional, intimate relationship with Christ, praise God indeed. But if you are sensing the desire to walk the path of discipleship more deeply, I would encourage you to join a prayer group, a covenant discipleship group, a Bible study gathering, or some other growing opportunity to move your faith beyond the level of a Facebook friend.

Good thing this is not a tweet … 140 characters just wouldn’t have been enough!

Commentary: We have met the enemy and he is us

By Jerry Wolgemuth, Director of Communications, SUSUMC

You probably need to be over 60 to understand this commentary, but in the 50s and 60s there was practically a cult around the satirical little possum called Pogo who lived in the Okeefenokee Swamp. Pogo was drawn by Walt Kelly.

I remember to be “in” we had to talk in “aw shucks.” We even had to learn to swear in Pogo-ese. Excuse me while I let four rip: goshamickledicklepickle, geewillywobbers, dogsmycats, and rowerbassel!

Sorry!

A favorite strip of mine championed the individual: Pogo, in a little stiped shirt, is leaning against a log, eyebrows raised, hand gesturing, he asks, “But how ‘bout if the One guy is right an’ the 10,000 is wrong...”

Probably the most remembered Pogo strip made a statement about pollution. Pogo walks with Porky Pine through the swampy forest. Porky Pine says, “Ah, Pogo, the beauty of the forest primeval gets me in the heart.” Walking rather gingerly, Pogo retorts, “It gets me in the feet, Porky Pine.”

The next frame shows Porky Pine and Pogo siting on a log pondering woefully the trash deposited on the floor of the swamp. Porky Pine says, “It IS hard walkin’ on this stuff.” Chin propped on hand, Pogo laments, “Yep, son, we have met the enemy and he is us.”

For me, the Pogo lament has an application much broader than just the issue of pollution in the Okeefenokee Swamp. It’s mid-term election time and the screens of our TVs are steamed over with the combat of politicians and pundits neck-deep in personal attack, misrepresentation, special interest, and other assorted divisiveness. Pogo might prop his chin on his hand, view the march to Washington, and say, “Yep, son, we have met the enemy and he is us.”

America needs our redemptive message.

Glad we could get together.

Dedication of improvements at heritage landmark site

Rev. Charles Campbell, representing the Evangelical Congregational Church (a successor denomination of the Evangelical Association) offers dedicatory remarks at the heritage site. 

By Milton Loyer, Conference Archivist

The Evangelical Association founded by the followers of Jacob Albright is one of the three major distinct denominational traditions of the United Methodist Church. New Berlin, in Union County, Pa., served as that body’s first headquarters until its operations moved to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1854. The 1816 site of the denomination’s first church building and first printing house is owned by the United Methodist Church and managed by the General Commission on Archives and History as one of the denomination’s Heritage Landmarks.

Since 1927, visitors to the site have been greeted by a single granite monument. In the summer of 2014 the Susquehanna Conference made improvements to the site that more fully explain the significance of this sacred plot of land. Four interpretive historical pedestal markers have been installed as follows:

  1. A 36x24 marker with a map of New Berlin, explaining other sites of importance to our heritage – such as the site of Union Seminary, the first permanent educational institution of the Evangelical Association and the forerunner of Albright College.
  2. A 36x24 marker picturing the first church building and printing house and telling the story of the Evangelical Association and its place in the United Methodist family.
  3. A 24x18 marker illustrating and discussing the first church building.
  4. A 24x18 marker illustrating and discussing the first printing house.

A highlight of the improvements is the in-ground paving stone outline of the locations of the 24x38 foot church building and the smaller adjacent building which housed the denomination’s printing establishment. Walkways direct visitors to the markers. The site improvements also include two benches overlooking Penns Creek, a tiered retaining wall on the south end of the property, and new landscaping around the original granite monument.

The original granite monument marking the site of the first church edifice of the Evangelical Association.
The dedication services for the improvements took place Sunday, September 7, 2014, with a full day of services at Emmanuel UMC in New Berlin and at the site. A special morning worship service at the church was followed by a noon luncheon in the church hall. The afternoon dedication service was held at the church with the keynote address delivered by Alfred T. Day, General Secretary of the General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church. Following the afternoon service at the church, the attendees progressed three blocks to the actual site to view the improvements and participate in a brief ceremony and dedicatory prayer.

View of the first church and printing office of the Evangelical Association erected 1816 in New Berlin. 
Three existing American denominations have their roots in the Evangelical Association founded by Jacob Albright, and all three were invited to participate in this celebration of their common heritage. In addition to the United Methodist Church, these are the Evangelical Congregational Church headquartered in Myerstown, Pa., and the Evangelical Church headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. The former was created in 1922 by congregations choosing not to participate in the union of the Evangelical Association and the United Evangelical Church, and the later was created in 1968 by congregations choosing not to participate in the union of the Evangelical United Brethren and Methodist denominations.

Included in the day’s events were the annual meeting of the Historical Society of the Susquehanna Conference and celebrations of the music of Elisha Hoffman and other Evangelical song writers associated with New Berlin. Directions, a complete schedule, and more information are available from Milton Loyer at loyer@lycoming.edu.

Backpacks help needy kids


As part of Grace Three Springs United Methodist Church’s ministry to their community’s children, members donated back packs and the other churches on the Three Springs Parish gave monies to fill them with needed school supplies. Seen above are Marilyn Tucker, Amy Harper, Jeanne Hampson, and Rachelle Brown delivering them to Susan Oswald (second from right), school secretary.

225th anniversary celebration



Askam United Methodist Church, formerly known as Hanover Center (dedicated in 1788), was organized in 1820 in an old log schoolhouse northwest of Plumbtown, Pa. In 1861 the society built a wooden church located where it could easily be reached by horse and carriage on good dirt roads.

The site of the present church was a gift from the society. The church was dedicated April 4, 1889, nearly 100 years after the dedication of the first church of any denomination in northeastern Pennsylvania, the old Hanover Church.
The society was with Ashley, subsequently MountainTop, and in 1886 became a part of the Askam Charge.

The church has been blessed with a succession of pastors whose leadership and guidance have helped the church to grow and flourish and serve God over two hundred years.

On Sunday September 21, 2014, the church celebrated the milestone of 225 years of continual service to the community with a service of worship, prayer, song and fellowship, and a breakfast to follow. People came from far and wide to participate.

Reaching out at Senior Fair


United Methodist Leon Lehman (left) shares with folks at a Senior Fair held at Chambersburg Mall.
Chambersburg Mall held a Senior Fair in September. Rev. James Fox, pastor of Valleys United Methodist Parish in Altoona District, put together a display with handouts under the theme “GENERATION 2 GENERATION” with an emphasis on intergenerational church and community involvement by older adults.

The display was hosted by Rev. Fox and 92-year-old Leon Lehman, a United Methodist living at Menno Haven Retirement Center.

It was estimated that over 1,000 persons attended the event, which was sponsored by Rep. Rob Kauffman, with several hundred stopping by this particular display and sharing.

“We ran out of handout materials,” said Rev. Fox.

Left to right: Leon Lehman  and Rev. James Fox  hosted a United Methodist display at the Senior Fair at Chambersburg Mall.

Lay Servant Ministries — a new model



“His purpose [is] to equip God’s people for the work of serving and building up the body of Christ until we all reach the unity of faith and knowledge 
of God’s Son.”
Ephesians 4:12 CEB

In 2012 the General Conference of The United Methodist Church approved legislation to change the name of Lay Speaking Ministries to Lay Servant Ministries. The new name was chosen to better define the role of those laity who wished to help lead in church beyond speaking alone.

The term “servant” best describes what Jesus told his disciples in John 13 after he himself had performed the duties of the lowliest servant. Just as Jesus called his disciples into service, we are called to live out our lives as servant leaders in the life of the church today.

Lay Servants can choose from different levels of training, all of which will help our churches raise up quality transformational leaders who can help our churches in their mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Persons who are already lay speakers or certified lay speakers are “grand-parented” into the new model. To continue in those roles, they will need to be renewed and recertified by completing the new recertification courses now being developed.

In an effort to make our Lay Servant process simpler yet effective, “Equipping God’s People” will be the basic course requirement for the Susquehanna Conference. This course is designed to help people in local churches grow in leadership of guiding their congregations to greater effectiveness in disciple making.

For information about “Equipping God’s People” courses being offered, contact your district office or go to the Lay Ministry page on the Conference Web site, www.susumc.org/layministry.

Please Note: Although we are offering this “Equipping God’s People” course as the requirements for Lay Servant classes, individuals or churches can benefit from the training experience too.

Churches are encouraged to send teams of people (ideal teams are about ten percent of the average worship attendance) to training sessions. These are fee-based sessions – which will provide books, materials, and teaching for one fee. The groups will generally meet on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon for three hours. Groups may be cluster- or district-based. In addition to helping to prepare leadership for churches, the completed course (24 hours) will fulfill training requirements for Basic and Certified Lay Servant Ministers.



The Lay Servant Journey
The following describe three levels of Lay Servant Ministry. Lay persons are encouraged to grow in their leadership skills by beginning as a Local Church Lay Servant. For those who want to continue to deepen their leadership role, they may next become Certified Lay Servants. For those who desire to fill the pulpit as a Lay Speaker, additional course work is required. Below are the steps and requirements.

Local Church Lay Servant 
The local church lay servant with appropriate training shall serve the local church through which membership is held through ministries of leading, caring, and communicating (“Book of Discipline,” ¶267.2) Requirements:
  • Pastor and charge conference approval
  • Complete Modules 1-4 of “Equipping God’s People” course
  • File annual report to charge conference.
  • Complete a refresher course every three years.

Certified Lay Servant 
The certified lay servant with appropriate training shall continue to serve the local church through ministries of leading, caring, and communicating, and may serve in the role of class leader. In addition, the certified lay servant may serve in the district and conference and in local churches (“Book of Discipline,” ¶268.2) Requirements:
  • Pastor and charge conference approval
  • Complete Modules 1-8 of “Equipping God’s People” course
  • File annual report to charge conference.
  • Complete a refresher Certified Lay Servant course every three years

Lay Speaker 
A lay speaker is a professing member of a local church or charge who is called and equipped to serve the church in pulpit supply in accordance and compliance with the “2012 Book of Discipline,” ¶341.1. A lay speaker will complete a prescribed course of study to include Lay Servant Ministries – the beginning course, and a curriculum on leading worship, leading prayer, discovering spiritual gifts, preaching, and United Methodist heritage and polity. Requirements:
  • Pastor and charge conference approval
  • Complete eight modules of “Equipping God’s People”
  • Complete required courses for Lay Speaker
  • Interview with District Committee on Lay Servant Ministry
  • Approval by Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries
  • File annual report
  • Complete a Certified Lay Servant course every three years
  • Interview with District Committee on Lay Servant Ministry

A further step — Certified Lay Ministry

In order to enhance the quality of ministry to small-membership churches, expand team ministry in churches, and in deference to an expression of the gifts and evidence of God’s grace associated with the lay ministry of early Methodism, the Certified Lay Minister is to be recognized and shall preach the Word, provide a care ministry to the congregation, assist in program leadership, and be a witness in the community for the growth, missional, and connectional thrust of the United Methodist Church, as a part of a ministry team with the supervision and support of a clergy person.

The CLM may help lead the congregation in various ways. Each CLM and Staff Parish Relations Committee will create a covenant defining the ways in which the CLM shall serve as well as the responsibilities of the congregation. Each CLM will be assigned to a supervising elder who will assist the CLM and the SPRC as needed. The CLM may serve as part of a staff or may be the only pastoral leader assigned to a small-membership charge.

All persons serving a local church beyond pulpit supply who are not in the process of being licensed or ordained must be enrolled in the Certified Lay Minister Program (requirements are posted at http://scboom.org/index.php/certified-lay-ministry.) 

Persons must complete the entrance requirements for this program or will not be permitted to serve beyond pulpit supply. This will be monitored by the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. Upon completion of the entrance requirements, a person may serve a church or charge as a candidate for lay ministry. Lay Minister Candidates and Certified Lay Ministers are assigned, not appointed. The CLM remains a lay person and does not have sacramental privileges. The supervising elder works with the CLM to provide the sacraments to the assigned charge.



Commentary: Sheep dogs are not the stars of the show



By Rev. Pat Woolever, Assisting Elder, Harrisburg District

He was black and white and shivering with anticipation. Body low to the ground, waiting for a whistle, his face toward the sheep. One whistle and he sprang into action. He brought the sheep around the pasture and toward the shepherd. Another whistle and he dropped to the ground with his eyes always on the sheep and their slightest movement.

It was a magnificent display! And then I thought, “Wait a minute. The star of the show is not the sheep dog but the sheep.” They are the reason for the sheep dog, they are what will bring the shepherd money for wool or meat. In this somewhere is a metaphor for today’s church. At some point my metaphor will break down as all metaphors do but I think you will see where my mind went in my reflection.
Today the church is often an event much like the sheep dog event that I saw. We attend worship to be inspired, to watch for the movement of the sheep dog, to see how well it all comes together, to be entertained. The laity are merely the audience. Any criticism of the event goes to the shepherd or the inept sheep dog. 
But what about the sheep? The whole thing in a working fold is about the shepherd and the sheep, the sheep following the direction of the shepherd, and the shepherd caring for the sheep. It is not about the sheep dog or the dazzling skill of the sheep dog.

What about the laity? There is no church with only one part of the body we call the pastor. The church is about the whole body. Who has what gift? Who is using their gift? Who helps another to follow the Shepherd? Every person has a ministry to do—the usher, the sweeper, the teacher, the cook, the baseball player, the garage mechanic, the audio visual worker, the singer, the mother, the grandmother, the father, the grandfather, the hand holder, the encourager .... Everyone has a ministry and everyone needs everyone. Everyone can help someone discover their ministry. Everyone can pray for a ministry. Everyone can share what they know. Everyone has a ministry even if it is not a “church job.” We are in ministry where we are, right in this moment, when it is done for the glory of God.

And now the metaphor is about to break down. Sheep do not go out and find other sheep and bring them to the fold. However, that is exactly the work of the whole body of believers. We are to go out from the sheepfold and find those who are lost, broken, sick, defenseless, and defiant and bring them home. That is not the job of the sheep dog. That is the job of every follower of Jesus. We bring them home, we introduce them to the shepherd, we help them — as the shepherd guides — to grow up in the Shepherd’s love, and they go out to find other sheep. It is all about the shepherd and the sheep.

Every lay person has a sphere of influence. It is those persons that he/she knows, with whom he/she interacts or comes into contact. A church of 30 people can have more influence and contact with those whom God wishes to bring home than one pastor. It is crucial then that every person discover their gifts, use their gifts, and be intentional about building relationships with those who have not yet found a relationship with God. Think then of what a church of 100 or ten or 300 could do in one community. Church is all about the laity who follow Jesus and are transformed and transforming. 

Church is not an event. It is a powerful transforming community that has in it the power of God to transform the world.

Lay servant ministry continues tradition

By Erik Alsgaard*
Reprinted from Interpreter, September-October 2014. 

Editor’s Note: Certification for the lay ministry offices described in this article is under the auspices of the General Board of Discipleship and conference committees on lay servant ministries.

Once upon a time, in the not-so-distant past, a layperson’s certified ministry in The United Methodist Church was limited to preaching for the pastor, maybe once or twice per year. That was odd, considering the Methodist movement in the United States was mainly lay-driven when it began about 250 years ago.
Today, the church may be finding its future in its past. Laity now have many more options for ministry within the church than filling pulpits when pastors are on vacation.

The office now called a “lay servant” has evolved to where people are trained, certified and licensed in a wide variety of ministries. Their roles range from visiting shut-ins and hospital patients to delivering meals and playing music in worship; from convening a committee to leading an outreach project locally or halfway around the world; from leading Bible study or assisting with the sacraments to — yes — preaching from the pulpit.

“Prior to the 2012 General Conference, it became apparent that we were losing a number of people that might pursue certified lay ministry because they had no desire to preach,” says the Rev. Jodi Cataldo, director of laity in leadership at the General Board of Discipleship. “Because we are called to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world as servants in leadership, the term ‘lay servant’ was appropriate to the calling.”

However, the door remains open for those laity interested only in preaching. These would become lay speakers, Cataldo says. They, too, are trained and certified.

In addition to changing the general category from lay speaker to lay servant, General Conference added a new category specifically for lay speaking. “This category of ministry is for those who are specifically called to the preaching ministry,” Cataldo explains. “The process is more intensive than that of the certified lay servant.”

She points out that while the certified lay servant can provide a preaching ministry, if a person wants to be endorsed and certified as a lay speaker for the specific ministry of filling pulpits, he or she should choose this category.
This is the route Johnnie Draughon chose years ago. It was the only option available. Draughon, director of lay servant ministries in the Virginia Annual Conference, shared his journey.

Johnnie Draughon
In the 1990s, Draughon served as a lay speaker.

“I was adamantly against changing the name” to lay servant, he says. “Being able to share the Gospel from the pulpit was our calling and our name.”

In 2002, Draughon was asked to serve as the Norfolk District director of lay speaking, which he did for the next seven years. During that time, he says, he came to see that the calling was broader than filling pulpits.

“Our lay speakers were leading in worship, teaching, leading small groups, organizing mission trips,” he says. “The list was endless.”

Draughon also met “a large number” of people who would not avail themselves of training opportunities because they were afraid to fill a pulpit and had no desire to preach.

“Quite honestly, I also heard some of our lay speakers deliver sermons that caused me to question their calling as lay speakers,” he says.

Through it all, he began to appreciate the broader scope of ministries available through the certified lay speaker program.

In 2009, after being asked to serve in his current position as conference director, he and a colleague began to work toward opening their training to all laity. In the first year, 40 students who were not in the lay speaking program attended the “Lay Servant Academy” in Virginia.

“I believe that the primary role of the lay servant is to serve the local church, district and conference in any capacity they feel the Holy Spirit is leading them,” Draughon says.

To become a lay servant, Draughon notes, a person must first complete the Basic Lay Servant course, which helps people explore their calls to service.

Once that step is completed, the candidates must request, through their local churches/charge conferences, recognition as a “local lay servant.” Upon completion of any advanced lay servant course — and there are around 30 available through the Board of Discipleship — a candidate again applies to his or her local church/charge conference to become a certified lay servant.

What sets the certified people apart from others doing the same tasks is their desire to seek more training, Draughon says. “They want to be more effective in leading, caring and communication. With that desire to learn comes a deeper level of commitment to serve. The more passion a servant leader demonstrates towards the ministries they serve, the more they inspire others to greater service.”

Certified lay servants who want to qualify as lay speakers “must complete an additional 50 hours of training and be reevaluated,” Draughon says.

“I believe there is no other program within The United Methodist Church that has the ability to engage, equip and empower our laity as effectively as the (certified lay servant) program,” he adds.

Or, as Cataldo notes, “It takes a disciple to make a disciple, and lay servant ministries equip and empower laity to be engaged in disciple-making.”

To learn more, see page 7, or visit www.gbod.org/leadership-resources/ministry-of-the-laity, or www.facebook.com/UMLaity 

*The Rev. Erik Alsgaard is editor of the UMConnection, a publication of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference.

Interpreter, www.interpretermagazine.orgis a publication of United Methodist Communications.

Original Article: http://www.interpretermagazine.org/topics/lay-servant-ministry-continues-tradition

The Spirit of Invention: The Church has Left the Building


“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. ... Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Matthew 25:35-36, 40

The Church has Left the Building was an event designed to help members of Chambers Hill United Methodist Church, Harrisburg District, know God better by serving some of the people that Jesus calls his followers to serve.

It is such an important part of their faith that if you went to church on Sunday, September 28, you wouldn’t have found anyone worshipping in their sanctuary.
Instead they were worshipping God by feeding the hungry, building a garden, sewing quilts, visiting the lonely in nursing homes, and doing renovations at Daystar in Harrisburg. This hands-on approach was a chance for members to live out their faith through local missions.

As United Methodists, being in mission is an important part of who we are. It was the goal of Chambers Hill UMC to have 150 people participating in mission on September 28, and there were 160 participating. To reach the goal, they invited everyone at Chambers Hill UMC to participate, and also encouraged them to invite friends as an opportunity to introduce them to the church family.
Mission opportunities were created for everyone over age six, and child care was provided for those under age six. Many projects encouraged families to participate in mission together. 

There were more than fifteen mission opportunities to choose from, including: preparing meals at Ronald McDonald House in Hershey, serving breakfast to Harrisburg’s homeless at Grace UMC, cleaning up roadside litter as part of the Adopt-a-Highway program, building raised garden beds at Chambers Hill Elementary School, gleaning fruit for the Central PA Foodbank, pampering the women staying at Bethesda Women’s Shelter, games and fellowship with youth recovering from substance abuse, singing and an ice cream social with residents of Paxton Street. Home, a hymn sing at Frey Village and Middletown Home nursing homes, making pillowcase dresses for children in need around the world, stuffing bags of toiletries for the homeless, meal preparation and cookout for mission team members, making “ugly” quilts for homeless persons, renovations at Daystar Center for Spiritual Recovery, making greeting cards for shut-ins, and preparing a newsletter mailing for Bethesda Mission.





 














Soul Care Initiative

Journeying together as we care for our veterans and their families.

By Chaplain (Colonel) David Smith

Hundreds of our nation’s veterans have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan to our communities within the Susquehanna Conference. For many of our veterans, even after they return home, they are still at war.

George Orwell once said, “We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” We are indebted to our veterans and their family members.

Our veterans who return from combat do so with a wound. Some have experienced a wound not so easily seen, a wound of the soul. Our nation has a special obligation to care for those who were wounded in service to our country. Even more so, the church has a calling to offer healing to our soul wounded warriors.

War’s violence presses questions of faith into the lives of those who fight them. When a warrior steps onto the battlefield he or she immediately is confronted by the kinds of horror and hardship that has moved humanity through the centuries to reach for the spiritual. The consequence of soul wounds result in a diminishment of everything meaningful to the warrior. Countless warriors describe the dark side of their war experience with one word: hell. Soul wounds feel like hell at the very core of the warrior’s being.

The faith community is uniquely positioned to help. As the church, we offer hospitality, hope, new life, love, and compassion. With awareness, education, coaching, and support, our churches can be empowered to render an invaluable ministry to the returning veteran and their family.

Following my deployment in Operation Iraqi Freedom, I returned significantly changed, wounded emotionally and spiritually. Because of my own experience I became interested in the impacts of war on the combat veteran. I learned that no one can return from combat unchanged, all are wounded in one way or another. From this I have a passion for our returning wounded veterans.

I began a conversation with Stephanie Hixon, Executive Director of JustPeace, on how the church can journey with our returned and returning veterans. As a result JustPeace has launched a new initiative on Soul Care and will partner with the Susquehanna Conference. It is a ministry to assist churches to help returning veterans reintegrate into the church and larger community.

What happens to our veterans after the parade, party, or welcome home celebration concludes? Are they forgotten? How can we bring peace to our veterans when they return home from war? If your congregation would like to explore ways to partner in this ministry, please contact the JustPeace Website at justpeaceumc.org.

Chaplain (Colonel) David Smith, U.S. Army Retired, a member of the Conference and a 30 year Army soldier, now works for JustPeace as the Coordinator of Wounded Warrior Soul Care Initiative. Dave can be contacted at 14000 Jones Bridge Rd., Upper Marlboro, MD 20774, or at dsmith@justpeaceumc.org, or cell 910-685-1100.

Imagine No Malaria



Malaria is 100 percent preventable
Unlike many other diseases that are awaiting a cure, malaria was eliminated in the U.S. in the 1950s. However, in sub-Saharan Africa, malaria continues to kill a person every 60 seconds. But there is hope. Imagine No Malaria is part of a global partnership, and together with our partners, our generation can beat malaria once and for all.

What exactly is malaria?
Malaria is caused by a parasite, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of the female anopheles mosquito. This mosquito flies and feeds at night (which is why bed nets are an effective prevention tool).

When an infected mosquito bites a person, the parasite enters the bloodstream and heads for the liver, where it multiplies. It then re-enters the bloodstream, attacking red blood cells. Typically someone with malaria experiences a high fever, chills, joint pain, and headaches. Left untreated, symptoms eventually advance to organ failure. Nearly 90 percent of malaria’s victims are children under the age of five and pregnant women.

Through partnership, we have made extraordinary progress
In 2007 the World Health Organization estimated there were more than 1,000,000 malaria related fatalities. By 2012 the number had been reduced to 627,000. While that is still a staggering number, a nearly 50 percent increase in life is worth celebrating. Thanks to the efforts of The United Methodist Church and our partners, we are on our way to beating malaria for good.

As a founding partner of Nothing But Nets The United Methodist Church has been fighting to end malaria since 2006. For seven years The United Methodist Church has built this grassroots movement to end malaria, resulting in millions of bed nets sent to families in need in sub-Saharan Africa. Together we have made amazing progress against the disease, but malaria still kills someone every 60 seconds. Just $10 buys a bed net, distributes it to a family, and provides education on how to use it.

Imagine No Malaria has taken it further.

2,300,000+ bed nets distributed
We have already helped reduce malaria deaths by half by improving the ways people fight the disease using bed nets, providing access to diagnostic tests and medicine, draining standing water, and improving sanitation.

4,600,000+ lives impacted
Building new radio stations and providing hand-crank and solar-powered radios will ensure we are reaching great numbers of people with life-saving information about malaria.

300+ clinics maintained
There are literally hundreds of hospitals, clinics, and health outposts operated by The United Methodist Church in Africa. We make sure these facilities have the diagnostic tests and treatment needed to save lives.

11,600+ health workers trained
We have empowered thousands of local health workers to train their communities about avoiding malaria. For example, in Sierra Leone, Angola, Zimbabwe, and Democratic Republic of Congo these workers have gone door-to-door to deliver and install bed nets and teach people how to properly use and care for the nets.

Take action
Individuals, congregations, and conferences across the country can help fight malaria through The Advance. 100 percent of gifts given through the Advance will go toward the designated project.

For more information, visit www.umcmission.org/Give-to-Mission/Search-for-Projects

Imagine No Malaria Advance (#3021190) Education, prevention, treatment, revitalization, advocacy. For details, visit www.imaginenormalaria.org

Nothing But Nets Advance (#982015)  Support United Nations agencies with malaria prevention and health system strengthening efforts. Procure, distribute, and educate about the use of bed nets in areas of critical need. www.nothingbutnets.net/

District Youth Rallies


Helping refugees find a new home


By Melissa Stricker, Director of Communication and Development, Mission Central. 

Nearly 50 people attended an educational event at Mission Central on Thursday, September 25. Refugees In Our Community was presented by Catholic Charities.

Each year the President decides how many refugees will be accepted into the United States. This year there have been about 75,000.
Many refugees come from Bhutan, Iraq, Nepal, Sudan, Congo, Egypt, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma, and Cuba.

What is a Refugee? 
A refugee is a person who fled their native country because of persecution, war, or violence. Refugees have a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinions, or membership in a particular social group.

You have two options once you become a refugee. The first is to wait out the conflict in your native country in the hope of returning someday. The second is to apply to the United Nations Refugee Agency for third country resettlement.
Catholic Charities described what life is like in a refugee camp. You basically live in a tent. You get a daily food basket that contains the following:

  • 2 cups of cereal flour/rice/bulgur
  • 2 Tbsp. of oil
  • 1/4 cup of fortified blended foods
  • 1/4 cup of pulses (beans or peas)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. of sugar
  • 1 tsp. of iodized salt


There are five steps for refugee resettlement:

  1. Flee your home and register with UNHCR as a refugee seeking protection in a country of asylum.
  2. Give up all hope of returning home and begin to apply for third country resettlement.
  3. Pass extensive biometric and security screening processes with the Departments of State and Homeland Security, then complete an in-person interview with USCIS.
  4. Once you receive approval, you undergo a thorough health screening, participate in cultural orientation, and accept the responsibility of repaying a travel loan. (On average, it is $1,500 per family member.)
  5. Fly to your new country with few belongings or money.


Catholic Charities helps refugees on average from 3-6 months. Their services include picking up families at the airport, finding a home, providing pocket money, applying for a Social Security number, and enrolling children into school.

But we know the work doesn’t stop there. Catholic Charities is looking for people who are willing to help these families get adjusted to life in America. You can help by becoming a friend and mentor. You can help with transportation to doctor’s appointments or English classes.

If you would like to learn more about how you can help, call Catholic Charities at 717-657-4804.

Be careful what you measure!

By Rev. Pat Woolever, Assisting Elder, Harrisburg District.

That is a quote from a new book by Gil Rendle, “Doing the Math of Mission.” All of us have been challenged to count and it is known as our Vital Signs, that every pastor is asked to record online. It involves numbers like worship attendance, small groups, etc.

There is some unease about it all. What does it really tell us? Does it help us to make disciples for the transformation of the world?

After reading the book, here is how I would image it. Vital Signs are indeed like the dashboard of a car. Those signs tell you if you need oil, if you have low tire pressure, if the engine is heating up, what speed you are going, your mpg, seat belt attachment. In essence they tell you about the vitality of your car. What they don’t tell you is where you are going. They don’t tell you if you are a good driver. They don’t tell you the purpose you have for driving. They only tell you in bare minimum about the vitality of your car.

Vital Signs for the church do the same. Is this church vital? Are people attending? Are they involved in some way in small groups or missions? They don’t tell you if you are making disciples for the transformation of the world. For that we need measurements.

Rendle gives the reader a good foundation in understanding counting and its importance and measurement and its difference and importance. “Counting in the church, by itself,” says Rendle, “is about resources and activities, not about purpose.” (p.93)

Rendle doesn’t leave us there, he goes on to provide the reader with resources, questions, and definitions of measurement. He asks the question: How do we measure that we are making disciples and transforming the world?

“Purpose,” he says, “stated in intentional outcomes, which require measurements instead of counts.” To do that, he offers questions that need to be asked:

  1. Who are we, now?
  2. Who is our neighbor, now?
  3. What does God call us to do, now?
  4. In order to address God’s call, what difference do we believe God has called us to make in the next 3-5 years.
  5. What would it look like in 3-5 years if we are faithful to and fruitful with our call?
  6. How will we do it?
  7. How will we measure our progress toward fulfilling our call?
  8. What have we learned from our experience?
  9. What reshaping or changing do we need to work on because of what we have learned? (p.86)

His call is to be descriptive about the answers to the question of disciple-making and transformation. What will the disciples look like? What will our communities look like?

We talk about it, we think about it, but rarely do we measure it or even know how to measure it. “Doing the Math of Mission” will move us beyond vitality to purpose and transformation.

If we stop at Vital Signs, we will only know that the “car” is capable of running.

Discovery Place: Advent resources

Don’t panic, but the Season of Advent is just around the corner. Discovery Place has studies to help your class take a closer look at the Christmas story. Here are just a few.

The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem: Explore the story of the birth of Jesus with fresh ears and eyes. Take a journey with Adam Hamilton as he travels from Nazareth to Bethlehem in this fascinating five-session DVD which was filmed on location in the Holy Land. Each exciting and informative session contains 10- to 15-minute video vignettes of Hamilton retracing the path of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. Also includes a bonus segment on the Holy Land today.

A Different Kind of Christmas: Living and Giving Like Jesus: Help your group cast a vision of living and giving like Jesus, beginning with the Christmas season and continuing through the year. This five-session study by author/pastor Mike Slaughter helps participants see the traps and discontentment of consumerism, and the call of God to live generously to fulfill God’s mission in the world.

A Clear View of the Birth of Jesus: Why didn’t Mary and Joseph go to Elizabeth’s house for the birth of Jesus, since she lived nearby? Why was the town of Bethlehem so hardhearted that no private home would take them in if there was no room in the inn? If the Holy Family was in a dirty stable, why didn’t the shepherds move them at once to their own homes? In four 30-minute sessions, Dr. Kenneth Bailey answers these and many other questions regarding the Christmas story.

Not A Silent Night: Mary Looks Back to Bethlehem: In this 5-session DVD study you will imagine Jesus from Mary’s point of view — proud of her son, in awe of his gifts and mission, guided by love for him as a person, and so much more. Adam Hamilton begins at the end, with Mary at the crucifixion and resurrection; travels back in time as she witnesses his life and ministry; and ends at the beginning, with the Christ child born in a stable.

What Would Jesus Buy?: “What Would Jesus Buy?” follows Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir as they go on a cross-country mission to save Christmas from the Shopocalypse: the end of mankind from consumerism, over-consumption, and the fires of eternal debt. This is a docu-comedy about the commercialization of the holidays.

Where your treasure is: Walking beside us - Rev. Dr. G. Edwin Zeiders

By Rev. Phyllis M. Bowers, Executive Director, United Methodist Stewardship Foundation

We’re pleased to welcome Rev. Dr. G. Edwin Zeiders as The Stewardship Foundation’s new consultant. Ed, as he prefers to be called, is a retired clergy member of the Susquehanna Conference. He graduated from Lebanon Valley College, United Theological Seminary, and Boston University School of Theology. He also studied in Great Britain at Wesley College and Cambridge University.

Ed will be available through The Stewardship Foundation to consult with you about capital campaigns, conduct annual commitment programs, visioning and planning processes, and lead seminars in stewardship education.

In addition to serving churches in Clearfield, Stewartstown, and State College, he was Wellsboro District Superintendent, Conference Council Director, and president of United Theological Seminary. Ed was delegate to General and Jurisdictional Conferences, member of the General Commission on Communications, and General Council on Ministries. His professional development includes the World Methodist Council, World Methodist Evangelism Institute, and General Council on Ministries.

Ed is chairperson of the Susquehanna Conference Commission on Child Advocacy, and has founded Dimensions4, LLC, a firm devoted to coaching and consulting for congregations and non-profit agencies. You may reach Ed through The Stewardship Foundation at 1-800-272-0113 or sfcpa@susumc.org.

Educational opportunities:
October 21, 2014 – Communications and Social Media Clinic – 9 a.m. to noon. Led by Scott Vaughan, CEO, Scott Vaughan Communications, and held at Zion UMC, 1030 Carlisle Rd., York, PA 17404-4938. CEUs .03.

Originally designed for executive directors of the National Association of United Methodist Foundations, the clinic is now available to clergy, their staff, and anyone interested in communication. It’s presented in three parts: 10 Things about People; 10 Things to Improve Communication; 10 Things about Hospitality. Registration is $35 on-line only at www.umstewardship.org.

November 11, 2014 – Clergy Tax and Compensation Conference – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Led by William Fordney, CPA, staff accountant for The Stewardship Foundation and principal of White Knight Financial Consulting. Held at Mt. Zion UMC, 4685 Mt. Zion Dr., Enola, PA 17025. Lunch and .02 CEUs included. This is for clergy, church treasurers, and interested parties. Registration is $35 on-line only at umstewardship.org.

Some tax provisions apply only to clergy. We’ll cover this in part one. In part two, find out about clergy compensation, such as estimated payments for taxes.

Our Heritage

By Dr. Milton Loyer, Conference Archivist

September - 100 years ago
The present Starview UMC, York County, was dedicated September 27, 1914, as the newest building in the Pennsylvania Conference of the United Brethren Church. This structure replaced the Jerusalem Church which had been dedicated one mile to the east, by the existing cemetery on Codorus Furnace Road, June 22, 1856. The class had been organized in 1850 and met in a spring house and in private homes until erecting their first building in 1850. That structure burned in early 1856 and was replaced by the Jerusalem Church. The congregation was affected by the 1889 denominational split, and those remaining loyal to the Old Constitution erected Mt. Hebron church, just off Codorus Furnace Road on Mt. Hebron Church Road. Both the Jerusalem and Mt. Hebron buildings are gone – the former dismantled so that the stones from the foundation could be used in the foundation of the present 1914 structure, and the later razed after the membership dwindled and merged into the Strinestown UBOC congregation.

October - 50 years ago
The Board of Missions of the Eastern Conference of the Evangelical United Brethren Church met October 13, 1964, at the United Church Center in Harrisburg. Decisions made included the following:
Permission for the Charlton congregation to sell a lot and residence at the north end of their property and to proceed, provided there is sufficient “demonstrated increases in pledges or actual giving,” with preliminary plans to provide “much needed additional space and facilities.”
Permission for the Highspire congregation to purchase the residence at 176 Second Street as “essential to a planned program of improvement to the church property.”
Approval of preliminary drawings for a 7,800 square foot Christian Education addition to be erected at Grace Church in Millersburg at an estimated cost of $70,000.

On to Glory - Death Notices



Mrs. Ruth T. Crounse, widow of Rev. Rexford K. Crounse, Elder in the former Wyoming Conference, died Friday, October 3, 2014, at Willowbrook Assisted Living, South Abington Township, Pa. Memorial Services were held Tuesday, October 7, 2014, in Lawrence E. Young Funeral Home, Clarks Summit, Pa. Interment was in Newton Cemetery, Newton Township, Pa.

Rev. Charles H. Shearer Jr., Retired, of Market Street Extended, Middletown, Pa., died Friday, September 19, 2014, at home. Among his survivors is his wife, Janet I. (Stoudt) Shearer. Memorial Services were held Saturday, September 27, 2014, in New Love in Christ Church, Harrisburg, Pa.

Rev. Rees F. Warring, Retired, of Mosswood Road, Roaring Brook Township, Pa., died Monday, September 1, 2014, at Hospice of the Sacred Heart. Among his survivors is his wife, F. Jean (Townsley) Warring. Memorial Services were held Saturday, September 6, 2014, in Peckville United Methodist Church, Peckville, Pa. Interment was in Prospect Hill Cemetery, Peckville, Pa.