From Sunday, July 9 through Thursday, July 13, our students and chaperones spent time camping in Ocean City, NJ. The trip focused on St. John’s Core Values and our Baptismal Promise and how we can live out these covenants.
Vacation Bible School – Food Truck Party
The week of June 19 was filled with lessons on Matthew 6:11 – Give us this day our daily bread. Over 70 children participated in our Food Truck Party-themed VBS – “We’re on a roll with God!” With 40 volunteers helping out, we focused on how God’s goodness is shown to us and ways we can show God’s goodness to others. The last day of VBS brought the fun of a real food truck with Kona Ice to enjoy!
Potato Project Seed Cutting
On April 23 St. John’s participated with IHartHarvest, Inc. to help cut seed potatoes. Fifty-one volunteers from St. John’s and our neighbor Good Shepherd UCC signed up to take a 50-lb bag of seed potatoes (or more than one!) home or to cut on-site in our parking lot for the upcoming planting season. One hundred ten bags were cut (5,500 lbs)! Each 50-lb bag will yield approximately 400 pounds of potatoes! Each year, IHartHarvest helps provide food for some 60,000 children, youth, families, veterans, and adults in need in our surrounding communities. To find out more, visit their website.
On April 28 and 29, 2023, leaders from St. John’s spent time together in prayer, holy conversation and bible study devoted to growing the body of Christ and integrating our core values in every aspect of our life together.
Easter Worship Celebration
He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!
Bread, Bowl & Bible
On March 12 and 19, St. John’s hosted Bread, Bowl & Bible, a program sponsored by the Oley Lutheran Cluster of Churches. Attendees were immersed in the ancient religious practices of lament and hope. Voices of our Native American and Jewish neighbors were welcomed from presenters, President R. Guy Erwin of United Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg and Philadelphia and Rabbi Brian Michelson of Reform Congregation Oheb Sholom, Reading. Along with the presentations, a meal of soup and bread was enjoyed by those attending.
Over the weekend of February 17-19, St. John’s members gathered for a retreat and lunch & learn event focused on being a congregation that welcomes all. This was a truly uplifting time, with heartfelt discussion, prayer and much work. The goal is to be an inclusive congregation in a very homogeneous community. This is what Jesus did – he welcomed all: the sinners, the downtrodden, people of other cultures, those whose illnesses made them pariahs, the lost, etc. – how can we do otherwise?
Fiddler on the Roof
On Wednesday, January 18, St. John’s hosted the Kutztown-based theatre group, Talisman Players in a preview performance of Fiddler on the Roof. The show was free and open to the public, with a free-will offering benefitting the Talisman Players.
Wellspring Karitas – Mexico
Eleven members of St. John’s traveled to Cuernavaca, Mexico in January 2023 to join with staff of Wellspring Karitas (Berwyn, PA) to learn, serve, and grow in faith. They experienced firsthand the grassroots projects developed there that allow local disabled people to have full-time, fair-wage employment; encourage young people to stay in school through alternative education; support local farmers, and feed marginalized populations and build community.
Christmas Day Meal
On Sunday, December 25, St. John’s hosted their annual Christmas Day Meal, free to the community.
Christmas Eve Worship
For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
On Sunday, December 4, St. John’s was the proud sponsor of the Reading Choral Society and Boyertown High School Select Choir in a production of Handel’s Messiah.
Roll of Honor Dedication
On October 2, members of our congregation attended an official dedication of the Roll of Honor plaque at the General Carl Spaatz Museum. This plaque recognizes the 350 men and women from St. John’s that served our country during World War II.
Worship Team Retreat
On August 19 and 20, our worship team attended a retreat focused on planning for 2023. Through much prayer, holy conversation, and bible study they determined a clearer picture of our purpose in God’s mission.
Come to the Table – July 4th Picnic
On Saturday, July 2, our usual Come to the Table take-out meal transformed into a picnic in celebration of Independence Day. Guests were welcomed with hamburgers and hot dogs fresh off the grill as well as other picnic foods and Rita’s Water Ice, along with games of cornhole and can jam. Building relationships is the focus of our Come to the Table ministry, so joining in conversation over a meal was very much welcomed after a long hiatus from gathering in-person on Saturday nights since the pandemic began. Plans are in the works for our next outdoor gathering – stay tuned!
Boyertown Middle School West Visit
At the end of May, 6th grade students from Boyertown Middle School West had the opportunity to explore the Boyertown area to learn some local history, but more importantly to gain a greater respect and appreciation for all that our community has to offer. St. John’s hosted 6 groups of students, teaching them about the history of our church and our service within the community.
St. John’s Preschool is proud to announce the graduation of 62 students from our preschool program. Upon graduation, each child was gifted The Complete Illustrated Children’s Bible from the church congregation. This Bible is the perfect picture and storybook for young ones and an ideal first reader, capturing a vast collection of the Bible’s most-loved stories, helping our students to continue their faith journey at home.
On April 29-30, key leaders and staff were invited to a retreat centered on Stewardship. Sharing ideas, growing together in faith, and focusing on who we do the work for – God! Time well-spent in prayer, bible study and having holy conversation.
Love Thy Neighbor | A Fundraiser for Ukraine
St. John’s sponsored a fundraising event for Ukraine at the General Carl Spaatz Museum on Saturday, March 26 from 5-7 pm. A $20 ticket provided admission to the museum with a guided tour, hors d’oeuvres and beverages and a presentation about Boyertown’s once sister city, Bohodukhiv Ukraine. Donations collected during and after the event were sent to Lutheran World Relief to benefit the people of Ukraine as they struggle for survival amidst the invasion by Russia. The total amount raised reached $16,6522.
Come to the Table | Free Take-Out Meal Saturday Nights
At St. John’s we are committed to filling bellies and warming hearts at our Saturday evening meal! This opportunity is open to everyone in our community. Dinner is now served take-out style every Saturday from 4:30 – 5:30 pm. You can enter our parking lot at N. Reading Ave or Walnut St and follow traffic directors to pick up your meal. No registration necessary.