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Thank you so much for visiting the home of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Berrysburg, PA – the historic Hill Church – on the World Wide Web! 

Founded in 1780, ours is a congregational family with a deep and rich heritage that informs out efforts to reach out to our present-day community – near and far – with the Gospel of Jesus.  In my years of service here, I have come to see that we are a congregational family that defies easy description.  We have the warmth and intimacy of a small congregation, while also being blessed with an extraordinary body of committed and gifted believers that allows us to do many of the ministries of a large congregation.  We hope that you will visit often – here, from the comfort of your computer or smart phone or other electronic device, but also in person.  Whether you are seeking a family of believers with which to join in serving God, or just stopping to take in the view, we would love to welcome you in person to “The Hill”!     - Pastor Tom

Letter from the Pastor

In these summer months, with all of their associated outdoor activities, I wanted to share with you the following story that was passed along to me many years ago:

            Brenda wanted to learn rock climbing.  Although she was somewhat fearful, after some time in preparation, she made plans with several others to scale a challenging cliff of rock.  Arriving at the base, she strapped and clipped into the gear, took hold of the rope, and began climbing up the face of the rock.  After pulling her way up for some time, she came to a ledge where she could take a well-deserved breather.

            Then it happened: as she was resting, someone above her moved and snapped the rope against Brenda’s eye, knocking out one of her contact lenses.  Now, contact lenses are almost impossible to find in the best of circumstances.  But, here she was high up on a rock ledge, far from home, now with blurry sight.  She searched and searched again, going over her clothing and equipment and the rock surface around her, hoping against hope that she would find the lens.  With her hope diminishing, she prayed that the Lord could come to her aid.  Her only other hope was that, perhaps, when she got to the top of the cliff, one of the other climbers might be able to find the lens where she had missed it.  But, after a friend did a thorough check, there was no lens to be found.  And so she sat down, waiting for the others to come up the face of the rock.  She didn’t relish the thought of making the descent with only one good eye.

            While waiting, she looked out over range after range of mountains, thinking of the Bible verse that says, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.”  She thought, “Lord, you can see all of these mountains.  You know every single stone and leaf that is on these mountains and you know exactly where my contact lens is.”

            Finally, the time came for her to head back down the cliff.  On the descent, a new part of rock climbers was coming up.  Suddenly, a climber stopped on the face of the cliff and shouted, “Hey, you guys!  Did anybody lose a contact lens?”  The fact that she had found the lens was startling in itself, but how she found it was all the more so: an ant was carrying the contact lens, moving slowly across the face of the rock in plain view. 

            What does this tell us about the God of the universe?  That God is in charge of the tiniest things?  That ants matter to God?  Of course God is and they do!  But, as it so happened, Brenda’s father was a cartoonist.  Upon hearing the incredible story, he drew a picture of the ant lugging the contact lens with the caption: “Lord, I don’t know why you want me to carry this thing.  I can’t eat it and it’s awfully heavy.  But, if this is what you want me to do, I’ll carry it for you.”

Let’s all be sure to be on the lookout this summer, wherever we may be, for those God-moments.  The Bible makes clear that God delights in speaking to us in the most unexpected ways and places, maybe most especially when the way is difficult and we don’t understand just where we are heading.  May God bless you and yours in your journeys in God this summer!

Pastor Tom

News from Miss Laurie, Young Christians Minister

Summer is here, hooray!  I hope you are all enjoying the warmer weather and the beauty of God’s well-watered creation!  Things are so green and healthy looking – it’s like looking into Oz!  Enjoy this weather while you can, because I’m sure the “heat” is coming!!

Even though it started out rainy, we finished another successful Strawberry Festival!  The “Celebration Station” was hopping from 1:00 to closing!  The line for face painting was long, but with the amazing artwork Missy (and Reagan) created, it was definitely worth the wait!  While they waited, Sunny read some great books and Monsieur Alphie shared some “hysterically funny jokes” (HIS words, not mine) with the children.  And the Celebration Choir did a FANTASTIC job during their performance!  It was an amazing day!

Our next BIG event is VBS from July 23rd – 27th!  Mark your calendar and join us for “Rolling River Rampage” where we’ll experience the ride of a lifetime with God!  You can register on-line, through my weekly e-mail or by hard copy (available in the vestibule).  Please let me know if you’d like to help!  We’ll wrap things up on Sunday, July 29th, with our VBS Closing Program followed by the Sunday School picnic!   And if I’m not mistaken, Jim Watson plans to resurrect the “Water Balloon Extravaganza” afterward as well!!

In August, we’ll be selling Subway cards as a fundraiser for the Knoebel’s trip in September.  With the money we raise, we’ll purchase ride tickets for all the children who attend as well as some 3 foot subs for everyone to enjoy at the picnic.  The date for the Annual Congregational Picnic and Knoebel’s Outing is September 9th!  Mark your calendars and join us for the fun!!

Also in August, we’re planning a “Drive-in Movie Night” for Saturday, August 18th.  As we get closer, I’ll keep you posted with more information in my weekly e-mail.

With all the holiday outings and summer travels, be safe, and have an awesome summer!

Miss Laurie


• Green Team
• Youth Group
• Women's Group
• Clean Up Crew
• Sunday School Committee
• Men's Choir
• Dartball League
• Blanket Making Committee

Come Visit Us!!

Current Schedule
(Summer Schedule)

Every Sunday

8:45am - Adult Sunday School

9:30am - Worship

9:30am - SONDay Celebration

Coming Sunday, August 19!  

The Lykens Valley Bluegrass Band will be our guest music leaders at 9:30am, as we praise God with a unique and different sound.  Please plan now to join in as we sing and worship God outdoors in the beauty of our grove pavilion!

Our Mission

St. John congregation, responding to the call of the Holy Spirit through the Gospel, unites together to preach and teach the Word, administer the sacraments, and carry out God's mission. With God's guidance and grace, we strive to boldly proclaim by word and action the reconciling Gospel of Jesus: Working together for justice and peace, and caring for those in need in our community and world. We invite everyone to join us wherever you are on your faith journey.

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