Messages from Pastor Bob

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Message Sent:  Nov 11/24/16 8:52 AM

On this Thanksgiving Day
I am thankful for our staff, our leaders, our members and our friends
 
Onward – United, as one body, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ!

 
Unity, in fact, is the reconciliation of differences, and those differences must be maintained—and yet overcome! We are called to intentionally distinguish things and separate them before we can spiritually unite them, but usually at cost to ourselves (see Ephesians 2:14-16). I’m thinking now of my Core Team, our leaders and our members through the years who have given freely and generously to ensure the future that God has in store for all of us at St. John’s. The cost of discipleship is worth it! And this is probably the rub! If only Christianity had made that simple clarification, so many problems—and overemphasized, separate identities—could have moved to a much higher level of love and service.
 
Our brother, the Apostle Paul made this universal principle very clear in several of his letters. For example,
 
“There is a variety of gifts, but it is always the same Spirit. There are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord, working in all sorts of different ways in different people. It is the same God working in all of them” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).
 
The community at Ephesus was taught in Paul’s tradition: “There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God who is Father of all, over all, through all, and within all, and each one of us has been given our own share of grace” (Ephesians 4:5-7).
 
Even our central template of the Trinity maintains the clear distinction of “Father,” “Son,” and “Holy Spirit” while at the same time insisting they are One. Divine Unity absolutely maintains and yet radically overcomes seeming distinctions.
 
Create memories today! Share your heart with another! Receive! Receive the uniqueness in those with whom you will gather. Delight in God’s treasures all around you. Remember those who will be alone today. Stop what you are doing and remember them with a call or a little note. How different a history we are creating when we believe at ever broader levels that as treasures in clay jars (cracked pots) we are all needed as we gather at God’s table – offering thanks.
 
Be blessed!
Pastor Bob

 

Message Sent:  Nov 11/21/16 via USPS

Letter Regarding upcoming Congregational Meeting to be held December 4, 2016 at 10:30 am.

Click here to view letter

 

Message Sent:  Oct 10/26/16 2:34 PM

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Reformation Festival Service
 

Together as one body, the people of St. John’s will be joining in one worship service to commemorate the 499thanniversary of the Reformation on Sunday, October 30th at 9:30am. Please join us in the sanctuary for a special service of Word and Sacrament as we begin our year of intensive focus of what it means to be Lutheran disciples of Christ.

We draw on Ephesians 2:8 as our reminder of God’s love for God’s creation: 'For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God'.

Join us at 9:30am (Wear Red!) and receive the gift of grace (and Luther’s Small Catechism, too!)

Following our worship celebration, continue to share in fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ at the Reformation Party to begin at noon at Union Jack’s Inn on the Manatawny.

  • There is a cover charge of ($15/person) for food and one beverage payable by check (St John's Lutheran Church) or cash at the door.
  • Hot Sandwiches (Pulled Pork)--Cold Sandwiches(Ham and Cheese, Turkey and Cheese)--Pasta Salad and an non-alcoholic beverage
  • Union Jack’s address is 546 Manatawny Road, Boyertown, PA 19512
  • Please RSVP Reformation2017@stjohnsboyertown.org by midnight, Friday, October 28 (We've extended the invitation!)

Throughout the commemoration year you will be invited to experience what it means to be a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ. You will be called to discover, learn and share the fullness of what it means to be a Lutheran. Please join in!

 
Reformation 2017 Team

 


Message Sent:  Sep 09/25/16 8:24 PM

Decide to Do What Matters

(Lumber Yard Theology)

 
God is on the loose in the world right now, inviting us to participate in a loving mission to reconcile the whole creation and set all people free. What could possibly matter more than offering forgiveness and helping another draw closer to God?
 
Our deep-seated belief that we ought to be in a position to judge and punish the faults of others is part of our need for control and power. It is a painful but inevitable part of spiritual maturation to discover that vengeance upon the perpetrators of evil is not our responsibility. “’Vengeance is mine,’…says the Lord” (Romans 12:19). As disciples, we trust that God’s ways of dealing with sin are more merciful than our own inclinations are likely to be.
 
I had a supervisor many years ago encourage me to write an article on ‘Lumber Yard Theology”. I had been taught reformation theology, theology of the cross and liberation theology – I had no clue (and no internet) how to learn about this new term. Then it dawned on me! You know all about Lumber Yard Theology just as well as I do. When we deepen our dependence on God, we also come in touch more profoundly with our own shortcomings.  Almost instantly we see the redwood in our own eye that has prevented us from seeing nothing more than the splinter in our brother's or sister’s eye. As we grow more intimate with our own faults, we gain a more appropriate and merciful response to the faults of others.
 
Be blessed!
Pastor Bob

 

Message Sent:  Sep 09/24/16 10:31 AM

Fruit That Will Last

Follow THE Leader, Follow OUR Leader

One of my favorite authors, Richard Rohr, writes, “The Christian religion no longer naturally connotes people who serve the world, people who care about others, other nations and religions, poverty and injustice, or even people who are very happy.  In fact, our common image is often exactly the opposite.”
“How did we get to this impossible place, after placing ourselves in the following of Jesus who described himself as “gentle and humble of heart” (Matthew 1:29) and whom the Samaritan woman saw as the “Savior of the world” (John 4:42)?

I believe the members and friends of the ministries at St. John’s know this truth – “Doing good things will change the world a bit, contemplative doing of good things will change both you, those around you, and therefore the world – but it will not just be fruit, but now “fruit that will last” (John 15:16). 

I won’t miss the seemingly endless number of political commercials – and I watch very little television.  I would like to hear what the candidates are ‘for’ and not what they are ‘against’. A trait I admire in a leader is their passion for emptying their cup in mentoring and encouraging those in their care. My privileged responsibility is to empty my cup through discipleship. I wish you all could have witnessed our catechism students last night.  They are energetic and bright!

It doesn’t matter if you lead an organization that is faith-based (church, social agency, or mission), a company that produces something to be built, marketed and sold, a health care system or a family, or even a nation. The ministry of servant leadership is the privileged charge of a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ no matter the context. 

I believe leaders tasked with guiding and inspiring must have the courage to say publicly what everybody else is whispering privately. Some would have you think it is their insight that sets them apart from others. It’s not! It is their courage to act when everyone else is silent. I’ve seen many leaders through the years, yet, I’ve seen very few who would rather challenge what needs to change and pay the price than remain silent and die. The ones willing to take the hits, they're the leaders I’d follow.


Be blessed!
Pastor Bob

Message Sent:  Sep 09/11/16 1:29 PM

All Hands on Deck!

Monday, September 12, 2017
4:00pm - 8:30pm

Tomorrow, Monday, September 12, we will continue our facility cleanup begun last summer.

The dumpster will arrive mid-afternoon at which time we can begin moving those items unable to be repurposed. Every item disposed of will be cleared by a long tenured member of the congregation so that nothing can be discarded by mistake.

Thank you for considering donating your time so that we can be the best stewards as we refresh our facility and engage our ministries with rooms prepared to receive our learners. If you are able to lend a hand for half an hour, please come. If you can give a few hours, please come and help. 
 
Be blessed,
Pastor Bob

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