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.
Summer Youth Retreat
From Wednesday, August 3 through Saturday, August 6, our students and chaperones spent time camping outside of Washington DC, and traveling into the city. The trip focused on experiencing ‘Loving God and Loving Neighbor’ more fully through exhibits, museums, and other locations. The retreat theme coincided with our congregational theme for the year – ‘Building Intentional Relationships’.
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.
Potato Project Seed Cutting
St. John’s participated with IHartHarvest, Inc. to help cut seed potatoes. Volunteers signed up to take a 50-lb bag of seed potatoes (or more than one!) home to cut for the upcoming planting season. Eighty-two bags were cut by St. John’s. 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.
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.
Woody Jenkins Workshop
In December 2021, St. John’s hosted a two-day workshop for key leaders of our congregation that focused on the Lifecycle of a Congregation. Lynwood B. (Woody) Jenkins, author of The Role of the Minister in a Dying Congregation (Smyth & Helwys Publishing, Inc., 2011) was the presenter. An active layperson throughout his life, Woody has served in leadership capacities in local Church of the Brethren, United Church of Christ, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and Baptist congregations. Woody spent 30 years working in a variety of non-profit organizations including fair housing, higher education, and the lifecare industry.