Thursday, June 25

Good morning church,

Hard to believe it is the end of June already. Four years ago we celebrated this day with my nephew and godson Lukas who got married in Germany on that day to his wife Simona (Mona).  Four years later they are having their hands full, but they would never let you know. Their daughter and first child Charlotte was born in January, and it was later discovered that she can’t hear on either ear. She is deaf, and the young couple is now working with a clinic to explore whether their baby daughter might qualify for implants, with the help of which she could learn to hear. It’s all pretty tough, but little Charlotte is much loved and both of her parents are mature and responsible young people.  I am sending them my prayers today on their wedding day and I wouldn’t mind if you joined me in prayers that their little girl may get the pleasure of hearing sounds (because she literally hasn’t responded to ANY noise) in her lifetime. At one point, we had a church in our synod with a ministry to the deaf community. I don’t know whether it still exists, but cases like this make you think what a blessing it is to have and use our senses and how marvelous are the people who help others live with disabilities. May God bless them all!

Meet someone who is working with his senses all the time, and in creative ways. Wayne S. joined us for our virtual new member orientation in the beginning of May. He and his partner in life Margaret A. have art studios in their home and their outfit is called “Nutmeg Designs.”  You can easily look it up online. They live in Lansdale. Wayne was formerly a member of a local Episcopal Church that closed its doors a few years ago, but he grew up a Lutheran in the greater Bethlehem area. I hope he doesn’t mind that I show him on this picture with Margaret. In my humble opinion, he looks better with her at his side!  Earlier this year and before the virus struck, they exhibited some of their work on our art wall, and it was easily one of my favorite displays. I attached two pictures of artifacts that are simply beautiful. Wayne is a quiet and introspective soul. For years he has gone on spiritual retreats, many times to the Jesuit center in Wernersville PA.  He joined the Stephen Ministry Training Class earlier this year, and in his professional life, he also teaches science in a private school. I know he was very, very happy when the Zoom sessions for the school year were finally over! I hope you get to meet him or maybe find a piece of art for your home through his website. (He didn’t ask me to advertise, but I really like their work!)

Our Oktoberfest Planning Team met last night and decided not to run this popular event in 2020. The main reason is quite obvious, but there are many “assisting” reasons for this decision. The Oktoberfest has always been a fundraiser for the church and an opportunity to connect with our town and community. We did it for 12 years in a row and plan to resume in 2021. But this year it would have been exceedingly difficult. A socially distanced Oktoberfest is just not the same and would likely be more of a temptation for people to neglect safety rules. And we don’t want to set a bad example.  What’s more, much of the fundraising relies on donations from businesses and individuals. The West Pointe Deli in particular has always been exceedingly generous with food donations. We usually get all of our beer donated from local breweries. But all of those businesses are hurting this year and we would find it highly inappropriate to even ask for donations in a time like this. I really want to thank Doug and Jenn Mahan for leading the team. The team is not done for the year. They are planning to run two or three alternative fundraisers with some virtual components to help us make up for some of the loss of revenue. They came up with some nice ideas and you will hear more about it when these ideas are fully developed.

I am attaching again the flier for this Saturday’s car-wash fundraiser with the Rauchut kids (adults), Brynne G., Robin A., and others. All the proceeds will benefit the Innocence Project.  If you want to support the event you can not only bring your car for a new shine, you can also post this flier on your FaceBook or Social Media site.  I think it’s a wonderful activity and I will personally support it.

Today is the birthday of Lilly T., Carol and Gary L.’s granddaughter. Happy birthday!!!

Be blessed and be safe! Pastor Andreas Wagner