SHEPHERDSTOWN LUTHERAN PARISH               the PIPER weekly October 19, 2017


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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

From Exodus, chapter 33:

18Moses said, “Show me your glory, I pray.” 19And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, ‘The LORD’; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20But,” he said, “you cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live.” 21And the LORD continued, “See, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock; 22and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; 23then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.”

This is from one of the texts for this coming week, and frankly, when I read it, it didn’t strike me as a text that I wanted to preach on or write about… until I read this:

“Our English texts usually say that Moses could “see his back,” but that’s an inaccurate translation. Moses caught no sight of the “body” of God. He saw the place where God just was. That preaches, I think, because it’s how I of-ten experience God. In the busyness of life, I’m not anywhere near aware or awake enough to see God’s Presence. I’m answering emails, making visits, writing sermons, picking up kids from school, washing the dishes…But, when I look back over my day, with intention, I can see God’s Presence so much easier. (Rick Morley, A Garden Path)

Wow. Isn’t that the truth? Sometimes days get so busy that I don’t see God. Somedays the worries of the world and the worries of life distract me and I for-get to look for God. But when I look back I see the amazing work of the Di-vine.

Last night at Immanuel’s House we were troubled by the dropping tempera-tures. I like sweaters and boots and pumpkin spice coffee and so autumn is something I welcome… except it is getting colder… and the shelters are not open yet and people are sleeping outside. There was a gentleman with us at Immanuel’s House that we had not seen before. He was quiet and he partici-pated in worship and sat down to supper and then approached my colleague, Mary about some needs that he had. DHHR had sent him to us. He had some obvious mental health issues, and he had nowhere to go. He couldn’t go to the Rescue Mission because he had no identification. DHHR didn’t know what to do with him, but we didn’t know what to do either. We gave him a sleeping bag and hygiene products and socks and a hat… but he needed a place to stay. On the way out the door Mary told him that she was glad that he could join us for worship and he said, “It was Holy… this is Holy” and then he left. After he left we were struck by the gentleness of the man. He had a presence with his aging face and graying short dreadlocks and his words of thanks. It struck me as that gentle soul walked away that he is made in the image of God… and he experienced worship as Holy. It also struck me how beautiful are the hands and feet of my friend Mary as she spoke to him and engaged him in conversation even though he wasn’t making much sense. She showed him God’s love. She is the image of God too. Rarely do I think these thoughts as I watch life unfold, but the moment it is passed, I see God’s backside.

I see where God has been… and it is so very Holy.

Peace to you… and may you see where God has been.


I. Current status of your congregation

-What good things are happening in your congregation? (Do not negate the work of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Gospel.)

-What are your top three blessings / gifts for your congregation to celebrate, and how can you communicate these blessings to your members?

-What are the two biggest challenges facing your congregation right now?

-What ideas do you have to address these challenges as you move forward?

II. Looking to the future for your congregation

-What are your hopes for the future of this, your congregation?

-What important things should this congregation do in the future – in your own congregation and your community?

-What might you do or need to carry out this work?

III. Further considerations

-Where do you see the Holy Spirit at work in your congregation and your people?

-What drew you to this congregation and what makes you feel connected?

IV. Synod

-What role can the synod play to assist your congregation as you live out God’s mission for you?

-Is there anything else on your mind you would like to discuss or hear from Bishop Riegel and the Synod Council?


Upcoming Dates of interest:

Monday, October 23, 7:00 at St Peter’s: Listening event with Synod council. This event is an opportunity for us to reflect on some questions about our ministries and our gifts and challenges. The questions are included in this newsletter and your thoughts would be welcome in writing if you cannot come to the event.

Sunday October 29, Reformation Sunday, Observing the 500th anniversary of the posting of the 95 Theses, the event that began the Protestant Reformation.

Tuesday, October 31, Reformation Day! Join the wider community in a worship event commemorating the 500th anniversary at Curtis Freewill Baptist Church at Storer College in Harpers Ferry at 7:00 P.M. Trunk or Treat will precede the worship between 5:30 and 7:00.

Sunday, November 5, All Saints Sunday: We will be receiving New Members into the churches. If you are interested in joining either of the churches, please speak to Pastor Karen as soon as possible to confirm that she is aware of your desire to make your membership official.

By the way… All are welcome to join the church, but those who do not wish to join are welcome to worship and commune and participate within the community. Membership means that you can vote at congregational meetings and serve on council and it allows the national church to count you for statistical purposes.

Sunday, November 19, Mission Transformation Sunday: What is God’s Mission in the world and what is our role in that mission???? Come and join the conversation! Pr. Phil Huber will be preaching and he will be joined by other guests who are eager to share their experiences with Mission Trans-formation in their churches.

Confirmation Youth News!

On October 27 the Confirmation youth are having a movie night! We have been studying church history and learning about Martin Luther so we are going to pop some corn and watch Luther (2003 with Joseph Fiennes). Thanks Vickers family, for hosting this event!

November 5, 3:00-6:00 at St James, all of the confirmation students from the conference (St John- Martinsburg, Trinity- Arden, St Thomas-Charles Town, St John-Harpers Ferry and Shepherdstown Lutheran Parish) are all coming to-gether to learn about the Lutheran Church: Where we have been and where we are going! Dinner will be served and fun will be had and knowledge will be gained!


10/24– Tues. St. James’ Council meets at 6:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall

10/25– Wed. St. Peter’s open for prayer, 8:30 – 9:30 am

10/26– Thurs. Bible school held at St. James’ Fellowship Hall at 6:30 pm

10/27– Friday Confirmation Youth Movie Night

10/28- Sat. Apple Butter Festival at the Shepherdstown Fire Hall

10/28– Sat. St. James’ WELCA meets at 10:00 am in the Fellowship Hall

10/29– Sun. Reformation Sunday at St. James’ and St. Peter’s

10/31– 1517 Reformation Worship Event, see insert

11/01– Wed. St. Peter’s open for prayer, 8:30 – 9:30 am

11/05– All Saints Sunday at St. James’ and St. Peter’s

11/05– Confirmation Students gather at St. James’ from 3:00 – 6:00 pm

Don’t forget, St. Peter’s is open for prayer on Wednesday mornings from

8:30—9:30 am. Thank you Suzanne for opening up the church

Apple Butter Festival is October 28th
Please mark your calendars and support the Shepherdstown Apple Butter Festival at the Fire Hall. The Festival raises money for the volunteer fire company in Shepherdstown. Crafters and churches purchase table space to hold their own sales.
Each year St. Peter’s members help our women’s organization (WELCA) by contributing items for our bake sale. This is the only formal fundraiser for WELCA and WELCA depends on this activity for charitable giving and support of synod and national WELCA activities. Here are some ways you can help.
Bake cookies, brownies, cupcakes, cakes, bread, and pies and package them ready for sale. Candy and fudge are also popular and almost anything non-perishable would be welcome. Baked goods need to be delivered to the Fire Hall as early as possible on Saturday morning, 7am-9am at the latest. If you can’t please bring good to Gretchen Weigels home on Friday evening. Items should be package and labeled as to what they are, especially if they contain nuts or peanut butter.
We need helpers to staff the sales tables or transport goods from the cars to the Hall or transport left over goodies to St. Peter’s Social Hall at the end of the sale. Shifts at the table are 2-3 hours long, between 7am and 3pm. It’s a very pleasant and worthwhile way to spend your time.
Purchase Baked Goods
Come and visit us at the Festival and purchase baked goods from our table. Most will freeze well and our pies are especially popular. Great prices for homemade food!
Please see or call Gretchen Weigel if you have any questions!
(304) 876-6359

St. James’ WELCA Fundraiser—Proceeds go to Hurricane Relief
There will be a book sale in the Fellowship Hall at St. James’ for 4 days also
featuring a special table of Olive Wood Art from the Bethlehem Carvers.
New books offered for sale in time for Christmas purchases.
The sale will be held Thursday evening 6-8pm, Friday evening 6-8pm,
all day Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday after worship (with a fellowship social).
Please consider supporting this important fundraiser

Village Brass Will Join Us for Reformation Sunday

Congratulations to Linda Snyder for being recognized by the Martinsburg High School Hall of Fame for her significant accomplishments and her contributions to the community. Well done Linda! You are appreciated in the Shepherdstown Parish as well!

A very special thank you goes out to Lori Kelly for all her hard work and imagination sprucing up the office with beautiful curtains, making custom photo holders and
arrangement of plants! Lori had fixed up the Pastor’s office quite a while back and did such a fantastic job that I (Nadine) asked her for some help!
Thank you Lori!