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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

Dear Friends in Jesus,

As summer 2019 winds down, I find the theme of thankfulness is much on my mind. Now I would never for a moment hold myself up as an example of the kind of thankful and joyful living that God desires, but even a “thankfulness-challenged” individual like myself can’t help but be thankful as I consider our congregational family life over these past months! Just to identify some obvious times of God’s Work being done in and through us…

  • Thank you to everyone who helped in any way to provide food and fellowship following a larger-than-usual number of times of funeral and memorial worship during June and July, and…
  • Thank you to everyone (including the 25 on-site adult helpers) who in any way worked with Miss Laurie to provide a vibrant and faithful Vacation Bible School (going To Mars and Beyond) over five evenings at the end of July for more than 70 young persons, and…
  • Thank you to the hardy work crews who came together early on two different mornings during Vacation Bible School week to pick and freeze hundreds of pounds of sweet corn for next year’s Annual Strawberry Festival and other congregational family meals. (Be sure to check out the final financial report for this year’s Festival later in this Epistle as a reminder of what that hard work is all about!) And…
  • Thank you to everyone who helped in any way to host approximately 250 worshipers on the evening of July 28 to mark the start of the Berrysburg-Mifflin Township Bicentennial celebration, including a wonderful time of ice cream and fellowship which followed in the pavilion (and which reminded many of us of the energy and spirit of the Strawberry Festival itself), and…
  • Thank you to everyone who worked with Sheila Barder and Camie Leitzel in any way to pull together and host a very successful Congregational Yard Sale. Just when it seemed that there wouldn’t be a yard sale this year, God had other ideas, with the result that over $1,800 has already been raised to help those who suffer from such disasters as hurricanes and tornadoes, with a few dollars still continuing to trickle in as I write these lines, and…
  • Last but most certainly not least, thank you for all of your great work in God’s name in vital places in our communities beyond this Hill – for instance in such recent major projects as the Pillow Carnival and the previously-mentioned Bicentennial Celebration, where Hill Church folks were as always much in evidence. I could go on, but hopefully you get the idea – thank you, thank you, thank you, and THANK GOD!

And, in closing, a reminder that our Sunday following Labor Day (September 8) will again be a kind of transition time from summer to fall: I will lead a combined Adult Sunday School Class downstairs in the conference room on our summer schedule, from 8:45 A.M. to 9:15 A.M. Our worship at 9:30 A.M. will be a “SONDay Celebration” worship as we prepare to transition back to our fall schedule, including a Sunny Sermon
by Miss Laurie, music by the Celebration Choir, and our Annual Blessing of the  Backpacks (for which all students – Preschool through Grade 12 – are asked to bring along their school backpacks for a time of recognition, blessing, and prayer which I will lead, as a new school year gets underway). When our worship ends at 10:30 A.M., it will be time to head out for our congregational outing to Knoebel's – which we missed last year due to severe weather – where everyone attending will gather with their covered dish and container of drink for sharing to join in lunch together, followed by plenty of time for riding. Our younger members will have some ride tickets provided, through our Subway card fundraisers. Hope to see you there!

Pastor Tom

News from Miss Laurie, Young Christians Minister

Holy end of summer, Batman – it’s back to school time already!!! It’s hard to believe that
summer, as we know it, is over and we’re back to the old grind! I hope everyone got off to
school on a good note!

After a great summer with lots of awesome activities, we’re looking ahead at some dates to
fill in on your “pre-autumn” calendar! Please include the following:

  • Wednesday, September 4th is the first Celebration Club of the season!! Join us from 6:30 – 8:30 as we “kick things off”!! Remember, Celebration Club meets the FIRST WEDNESDAY of each month! Each session is like a mini VBS, with music, a Bible story, a craft, lots of fun activities, a snack, and goodies galore! If your child is in pre-school through 4th grade, join the “Clubbers” the first Wednesday of each month for an awesome evening of faith!
  • Sunday, September 8th at 9:30 is our annual Celebration Service and Blessing of the Backpacks! The “Strawberry Jammers” will sing, there will be a Sunny Sermon, and the Youth will have a presentation of some of the things they’ve been up to! Join us for this kid-friendly service!
  • Immediately following the Celebration Service (on Sunday, September 8th), we’ll caravan up to Elysburg for our Annual Congregational Picnic and Knoebel’s Grove Outing! Hopefully the weather will cooperate this year! Join us for the food and fellowship – and all the kids will get ticket books for rides!!
  • Sunday, September 15th we’ll return to our regular schedule of SONday Celebration from 9:00 – 10:00 and Celebration Time during worship.

Wishing all our friends a happy, healthy, mind-expanding school year!! And don’t forget to
expand your FAITH as well! See you at the Celebration!!

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

Every Sunday

9:00am - SONDay Celebration

9:00am - Adult Sunday School, Confirmation Class, Youth Sunday School

10:15am - Worship with Celebration Time

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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