Tuesday, May 26

Good morning, dear church!

I hope you all had a nice, meaningful and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend.  We are on to the last week of May and our governor has given us hope that the Philadelphia suburbs will move to the Yellow Phase by June 5. Bishop Davenport recommends at this point that churches may open, with proper safety restrictions in place, by the beginning of July. In a time when all days blend together and few things can be solidly planned, it is good to have some idea of timing, is it not? We will be ready for that time, but as I said on Sunday during our church social, we will only be in the “Promised Land” once we are fully in the clear, which is still too far out to even speculate about. This week we are reviewing our opening document in a small group and next week it will be up for council approval. After that, you will all get a letter from me describing what church will look like during that interim time. (It will be different.)

This morning I pondered Romans 12: 1-2, a passage that has always spoken to me loud and clear. It says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds…”  It was funny then when I reviewed the various speeches from our confirmation students. So many of them spelled it “conformation,” and I wanted to scream at them, “No, you are not being conformed! God is doing a much more beautiful thing with you. God is confirming your faith, giving you the ability to discern “what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Rom 12:2) We are constantly tempted to “conformation,” to adjust our life styles to what everybody does. If a majority of people doesn’t care about religion and faith, why should I? If everybody plays three sports at the same time, I need to do that too. I would even say that once upon a time, church was part of the conformation game, people going, because, well, everybody did. (It’s not what the gospel is about.) We could go on and on with the examples of conformation. It’s a thing! But Paul says it’s incumbent upon us to stop and think and pray and discern our lives and lifestyles. I guess God has given us a golden opportunity to do just that during these long weeks. And you will get another one of our confirmation speeches this week.

For now, let me introduce you to one of our college students. This is Katy G. (see picture), daughter and oldest child of Penny and Ken G. She is a very bright young woman and still on campus (albeit a pretty empty campus) in a PHD program at Penn State. Katy has this to share:

When I first received the email notice from Penn State saying that students were not to return to campus after spring break, I had an eerie feeling that this was only the beginning of a long journey. The month of March was a total whirlwind as I received multiple updates a day as Penn State transitioned to online classes and graduate research was slowly shut-down. As a PhD student, I anxiously received this information and immediately started questioning my productivity, my funding, my qualifying exams…. I watched as my entire timeline towards graduation shifted.

But despite the unsettled routine of graduate research as universities across the world tried to adjust to COVID-19, I have tried my best to continue a normal routine. I wake up, go to lab each day to change samples, work on my review paper, work-out, cook dinner (I’ve never cooked so much in my life!), and relax before going to bed. My stubbornness to maintain a sense of normalcy has been greatly rewarded as I have stayed happy and healthy. I get outside every day, I interact with a few close friends, and I have thankfully been able to continue my work as a graduate student with minimal interruptions.

One thing I’ve realized through this uncertain time is that it’s the little things in life that help us keep a positive outlook, raise our spirits, and keep a smile on our faces. We can Facetime family members; we can order take-out from Starbuck’s and sit on a bench with a friend and sip coffee; we can go on a Skype date, drinking the same Wegman’s wine from different homes. I’ve realized that it is all these little things in life that keep us going and allow us to enjoy life. I smile each day as I get up, walk outside the door, and make the most of each day. “

We are looking forward to this weekend’s big community wide food drive to benefit our local food banks. See attached flier.  We have been getting additional boxes for storage and I think Robin can still use one or two more helpers. You can reach her at alderfer@aol.com.

Mrs. B’s Children’s Hour will take place every Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m., starting on June 7. We encourage our families with young children to take advantage of this interactive program and to tell your neighbors with children about it.    

Also, please don’t forget the Red Cross Blood Drive on June 8. Specific precautions are being taken and have been described in recent emails. Drive Details: Date: June 8th, Times:  2 – 7 PM;


As always, be blessed and be safe! Pastor Andreas Wagner

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