Ministry of donating 50 quilts a year comes to a close
St. John’s WELCA Christian Service Workshop has been making quilts for Lutheran World Relief for several decades. Approximately 50 quilts have been sewn and donated each year. St. John’s participation in this much appreciated service effort to the global community came to an end with a ‘Dedication of Quilts’ on October 20, 2013. Many women and men have helped with cutting fabric, arranging quilt blocks, sewing, knotting and delivery of the quilts.
This year 52 quilts were completed and were delivered to LWR to help them reach their goal of 500,000 quilts in 2013. The quilts were sewn by Roberta Schantzenbach (who has sewn quilts for over 30 years), Mary Ann Miller, and Barb LaMotte. Thank you to these sewers, to all members who knotted quilts and to Ginny Himler for delivering the quilts this year. A heartfelt thank you goes out to all Church Members who have generously donated supplies and shared their time and talent to make this a successful ministry for so many years. –Barb LaMotte – Coordinator, Christian Service Workshop
To learn more about the LWR Quilt Campaign, visit: http://lwr.org/getinvolved/quilts
At St. Johns
Our congregation serves in response to God’s love to meet human needs in a variety of ways through our volunteers of St. John’s.
We make the presence of Christ and God’s commands for love and justice known and realized within our congregation, our families, our communities and the structures of society through specific acts of serving love, care and justice.
Worship & Music Committee: The mission of the Worship and Music Committee is to assist the Pastor and Congregation Council in providing for the highest quality in the congregation’s worship and to involve as many members as possible as participants and leaders, according to their gifts. To meet that need we have many volunteers who serve in the special choirs, adult handbell choir, church-time nursery; on the altar guild, and as soloists, cantors, acolytes, communion assistants, gift presenters, greeters, lay Eucharist visitors, readers and ushers. Join one or more of these groups and become a vital part of our worship services.
We have six regularly scheduled meetings per year as well as special meetings which are called as needed.
- Assist in planning all regular and special worship services of the congregation.
- Provide for the recruitment and training of members of the congregation to serve as worship leaders, including lectors, cantors, and other assisting ministers.
- Provide for the recruitment and training of members of the congregation to support worship by carrying out such tasks as ushering and caring for the sacristy.
- Help the congregation grow in its understanding of and appreciation for the seasons of the church year and lectionary.
- Help the congregation learn to worship in ways that are hospitable to guests and newcomers to the Christian faith.
- Work with the pastor to develop ways preaching can be strengthened.
- Develop an ongoing program of education about the sacraments, so that members of the congregation can continually grow in their understanding and appreciation of Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
- Work with the pastor and associate in ministry to develop ways music used in worship can contribute more effectively to the proclamation of the gospel.
- Review new worship materials (such as hymn collections and new settings of the liturgy) as they become available, and plan for their introduction and use in the congregation as appropriate.
- Develop ways the arts (including various performing and visual arts) can be used to enhance the congregations’s worship, giving special attention to using the artistic gifts of members of the congregation.
Christian Education Committee: The mission of the Christian education committee is to provide a lifelong program of Christian education that will enable members of all ages to learn the scriptures and Lutheran teaching and apply them in their daily lives.
The committee’s responsibility includes planning education experiences that appeal to members of the congregation, recruit volunteer leaders, and review available curricula and other educational materials. The committee is responsible for the following areas: Bear Creek Camp, Cradle Roll Ministry, Sunday School, Adult Education, Vacation Bible School, St. John’s Christian Preschool, spiritual resources, WELCA, Youth and Family Ministry, Confirmation Ministry, Women’s Bring Your Own Bible Study Group, First Communion, children’s worship bags, and small group ministry groups and retreats.
- Plan ongoing, regular educational experiences that will appeal to all segments of the congregation.
- Plan special events that promote and encourage all members to participate in the education programs.
- Plan opportunities for members to learn about the needs of people throughout the church and the world, including such areas of concern as global missions and hunger awareness.
- Coordinate recruitment of volunteer leaders and teachers for the congregation’s education program.
- Provide ways for the congregation to recognize and thank the people who volunteer to teach and lead in the education program.
- Review available curricula and other educational materials and select those that will be used in the educational program of the congregation, giving special attention to those from the publishing house of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
- Give special attention to the educational programs that support faith development and involvement in the life of the church, such as confirmation ministry, the incorporation of new members, early childhood, and family support programs.
Mutual Ministry Committee: The mission of the Mutual Ministry Committee is to affirm and strengthen the mission of the congregation and the ministry of the staff by careful listening and clarifying expectations, sharing and communicating, reviewing and reflecting, and praying and caring.
- Develop open communication about expectations, attitudes, and concerns within the congregation, the community, and the staff.
- Identify early warning signs of misunderstandings.
- Be a “listening post” for the pastor, the associate in ministry, and the people.
- Serve as a group with whom the pastor and associate in ministry can test new ideas and share confidential matters.
- Conduct annual reviews and affirmations of staff.
- Be a sounding board for the pastor and associate in ministry in times of personal or professional stress and in times of congregational crisis.
- Plan continuing education and sabbaticals that benefit both the mission of the congregation and the ministry of the staff.
- Assess each year the working conditions, compensation, housing, and benefits provided to the pastor and associate in ministry.
Stewardship Committee: To provide an on-going, year-round program of stewardship education; to invite all members to participate according to their means in the financial support of the congregation and of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; to encourage and facilitate planned giving; to challenge all embers to offer their time and talents in support of the work of the church.
- Develop educational programs through which all embers of the congregation can grow in their understanding of themselves as stewards of all God’s gifts.
- Annually provide a program through which people make a commitment to financially support the congregation.
- Ensure maintenance of confidential records of members’ giving, analyze trends, and challenge members to grow in their giving.
- In cooperation with the financial committee, provide an efficient system to receive, record, and acknowledge member contributions.
- Develop income projections for use in the annual budget development process, taking into account past trends in member giving, as well as members’ commitments and other factors.
- Regularly provide an opportunity for members of the congregation to offer their time and abilities to participate in the work of the church.
- Ensure maintenance of records of the participation of members in the work of the church and of their current interests; assist other committees in using these gifts in appropriate ways; acknowledge and provide reinforcement for such participation.
- Interpret to the congregation the mission and work of its synod and of the ELCA as a whole; encourage the support of the ELCA through prayer, financial support, and other ways.
- AS appropriate, plan and carry out programs that support giving to special needs of the congregation, the ELCA, or other causes that have been endorsed by the synod.
Property Committee: The mission of the Property Committee is to provide maintenance and improvements to the church, church grounds, parking lots and 20th N. 5th Street. In order to accomplish this, we provide the equipment, materials, and time and talent necessary from our congregation to carry out the mission and ministry. The committee members are responsible for overseeing scheduled maintenance, needed repairs, and contacting contracts to accomplish tasks.
- Provide for the maintenance, repair, and improvement of all real and personal property of the congregation.
- Provide for regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure that the interior and exterior of the building is attractive, inviting, and suitable for use by the entire congregation in its programs; advise the Congregation Council with regard to performance of custodians or other employees who care for the property.
- Enter into contracts for repairs or other services on behalf of the Congregation Council, up to limits established by budget, congregational policy (for unbudgeted items), or council action.
- Regularly review the need for equipment that will increase the efficiency and productivity of the congregation’s office staff and program leaders; assess options and develop recommendations for purchases; monitor depreciation of equipment and make recommendations for replacement.
- Regularly audit the congregations’s accessibility by people with various disabilities, and provide remedies for deficiencies.
- Regularly audit the congregations’s environmental practices, including energy efficiency, and purue environmentally friendly systems and procedures.
- Regularly audit the safety of the building and property, giving attention both to the potential for damage or loss and to the security of people who use the property.
Finance Committee: The primary responsibility of the Finance Committee is to oversee the financial affairs of the church, including prompt payment of all obligations, monthly reporting of financial status to Church Council, preparation and presentation to Church Council of a proposed budget, and forwarding of all applicable monies to the Synod.
- Provide for financial management systems in the congregation, including bookkeeping, banking, and investing.
- On behalf of the Congregation Council, ensure that financial affairs of the congregation are being conducted efficiently, paying particular attention to promptly paying all obligations and regularly forwarding the expected proportionate share of congregational income to the synodical treasurer.
- Regularly analyze and report to the Congregation Council trends in income and expenses, giving special attention to unanticipated fluctuations.
- Annually develop a draft of a budget for the coming fiscal year and submit it to the Congreagtion Council for its submission to the congregation. The budget development process should include opportunities for staff, committees, and other groups to request support for their programs, and should reflect annual consultation between the synod and the congregation.
- Cooperate with the Audit Committee in providing for an annual review of all financial transactions of the congregation.
- Develop and maintain a system of lng-range financial planning for the congregation.
GIFT (Growing in Fellowship Together)/Parish Life Ministry Committee
GIFT’s purpose is to plan and promote a variety of activities and events that build relationships among St. John’s members, visitors and guests, and educate, excite, entertain, or engage members in support of important causes. Events can be large or small, and held at St. John’s or in the community. Gatherings can be designed to appeal to all ages, or focus on one primary group. The GIFT team selects key events throughout the year, but relies on St, John’s members to assist in planning or volunteering at these events.
- Allentown Ecumenical Food Bank
- Parish Nurse Ministry
- Disaster Relief Efforts
- Knitting for Charity
- Prayer Bead Ministry
- WELCA: Christian Service Workshops
- Souper Bowl of Caring
- Volunteer Recognition Sunday
St. John’s members are committed to staffing the Allentown Ecumenical Food Bank on the fifth Monday of each month, and donating supplies which are distributed to those in need. Volunteers prepare a meal at Daybreak once per month. St. John’s joins with other Lehigh Mission District churches to provide Christmas gifts and packages to various institutions in the Lehigh Valley.
Our Parish Nurse Ministry Program provides blood pressure screenings during Fellowship Sundays, and many members choose to donate to the Miller Blood Bank. St. John’s serves as an emergency evacuation center assisting in the care and feeding of those in the community during emergency situations.
Congregational Health Ministry: The Parish Nurse Team helps to provide durable medical goods, which are stored at the Church, to the congregation and community at no cost should the need arise.
Inventory includes but is not limited to the following, in various quantity: bedpans, bedside commodes and inserts, crutches, shower chairs, toilet supports, toilet seat lifts, walkers, wheelchairs, canes (single and quad), and some miscellaneous items which include a humidifier and smaller items for rehabilitation use.
There is an agreement and release from liability form to be signed when equipment is borrowed. Arrangements can be made by contacting the church office.
Blood Pressure Clinic: The Blood Pressure Screening Clinics are held in parish hall following both services at designated Sundays throughout the year. Members are encouraged to drop by and have their blood pressure checked. It is very important to have your blood pressure in good control. Untreated elevated blood pressure may cause chronic health problems and prevention of problems is our goal. Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in our country. Warning signs may include: sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding, sudden numbness of the face arm or leg, especially on one side of the body, trouble seeing in one or both eyes, trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, sudden severe headache with no known cause. If you experience any warning signs call 911 so an ambulance can be dispatched to your location. If you are having a stroke, treatment must be started within 3 hours of the onset of symptoms.
The Lehigh Mission District Lutheran In-gathering is held each December and provides Christmas packages and gifts to institutions in the Lehigh Valley. Members of St. John’s donate items for specific institutions. In 2012, our church was also asked to provide $50 plus 67 wrapped gifts. Members visit the tree in the back of the church with the names of children or adults for which we are to buy gift, and they help by taking a name from the tree and purchasing that gift. Members who prefer not to buy a gift, can help by giving a monetary donation which will be used to buy items needed to fill stockings for the various institutions. There is an excellent response from the congregation each year for this project that helps to make a happy holiday season for people in need.
Our Congregation supports Disaster Relief efforts by donating to special appeals and offerings. We have also sponsored refugee families, with outpouring of Christian love and caring, and finances.
There are many members of St. John’s who knit and crochet for others: chemo caps for cancer patients, prayer shawls, helmet liners for military, scarves and mittens for the less fortunate, and the list goes on and on. There are many stories attached to each one of these gifts of love! It would be great for us to have a way to share those stories and information about the agencies and individuals to whom we give these gifts.
KFC – “Knitting for Charity” – is a group at St. John’s that meets monthly to knit and crochet together and share our faith stories and discuss the many ministries being done within our congregation in the name of Jesus. Those who are just learning to knit or crochet are welcome to be nurtured by more experienced needle-workers. We were all beginners at one time!
The Prayer Bead Ministry group meets about four to five times a year to make Anglican prayer beads. The group has made prayer beads for shut-ins and veterans. It is their prayer that these prayer beads will bring comfort in times of trouble and help deepen your relationship with God in prayer.
St. John’s Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is an auxiliary of the church at large with a mission to provide:
Growth – a learning experience to help strengthen each woman;
Community – to enable each woman to value herself and others as created in God’s image by building and celebrating global, diverse and independent relationships;
Action – to enable each woman to act upon her faith as Christ’s disciple in all areas of life.
Monthly programs and meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month, September through June at 7:30 p.m. in the parish hall. After a brief business meeting, visiting speakers or members of our own congregation provide us with programs that are informative, educational and interesting, ending with fellowship and refreshments. Program topics are announced in a yearly program “booklet,” which is published and available at the monthly meetings, listed in the monthly Newsletter, and in the Sunday worship bulletins. Past meeting topics include “Tamela Spins a Hare Raising Yarn” by Tamela Seitz and her rabbit, Violet; “Setting the Stage for Birds” by Fred Buse, Master Gardener; “Moments Like This” by Sylvia Havlish; and “Hanky Panky” by Linda Moyer.
Christian Service Workshops are held the 1st Tuesday of each month from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. During the year, a group of dedicated women knot blankets that are distributed through Lutheran World Relief.
In 1990, a Super Bowl Sunday prayer inspired a group of young people to do something more than celebrate a football game. They created the Souper Bowl of Caring, and have mobilized youth across the country to raise more than $50 million for people in need. Please drop $1 (or more) in a soup pot on this designated Sunday each year. For more information on the Souper Bowl of Caring visit www.souperbowl.org.
St. John’s depends on volunteers in the areas of worship, learning, witness, service, and support to maintain its level of ministry to members and others. In addition, many organizations, that improve the quality of life in our area such as the Boy and Girl Scouts, the Historical Society, the Garden Club, the Arts Commission, the Youth Association, the Library, the Fire Department, etc. depend on volunteers to do much of their work. St. John’s is blessed to have more than 300 members who volunteer in the church and/or in the community! We recognize our wonderful volunteers annually at a special service.