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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,

​Once again this year, Miss Laurie and I are trying some new things to enrich our journey through the wonderful seasons of Advent and Christmas.  On December 16, as Miss Laurie also mentions in her letter following mine in this Epistle, what has traditionally been our “Advent/Christmas Program” will look very different.  Instead of a covered dish meal and a drama-type program, our gathering on the Third Sunday of Adventwill have an interactive and intergenerational feel as all ages come together for our first “Advent/Christmas Event” One Starry Night.  After numerous activities inside from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M., we will head outside to our church barn for a Live Nativity, presented by our Youth Group and children, following which we will finish up inside with warm refreshments.

​And on Christmas Eve, following up on a first last year, our 4:00 P.M. worship will once again have its own special focus and feel.  We will do that with a focus on our young persons, including a Sunny Sermon and music by our Celebration Choir, set within worship that will, in general, be simpler and less formal than our later traditional candlelight worship later that evening.  Then, at 8:00 P.M., our traditional candlelight festival liturgy of Holy Communion will again take place in the nave with carols galore.  Our goal at both 4:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M. is to provide the most meaningful opportunities to worship our Newborn King for the most people of God.  Please come and worship at one or both and please note that, as in prior years, our musical preludes will begin at the top of the hour, at 4:00 and 8:00.  If you have music of any kind that you would like to share at either 4:00 or 8:00 (or both), please contact Pastor Tom as soon as possible if you have not already done so.

​As we again enter into this holy time, reminded of just how very much God loves you and me and all that God has made, I want to thank you, my sisters and brothers in this wonderful congregational family, for another year of productive and, we pray, faithful ministry together – and I want to join with Tim and Dan and Ann to wish you a most blessed Advent and Christmas celebration and a strong beginning to another new year.   A lot has changed over the past 18½ years, for all of us, and we know that change is built by God right into the very fabric of Creation, but the thankfulness that the four of us feel to be a part of the St. John congregational family – the honor that it is to journey in faith together – does not change.  Thank you – and thank you for your kind attention in reading on in this St. John’s Epistle!

            Pastor Tom

News from Miss Laurie, Young Christians Minister

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  And there are SO many activities scheduled this month to get you in the holiday spirit!  Mark your calendars and plan to join in the fun!!

- On December 1st  at 2:00, the Celebration Choir will be singing at the Polk Personal Care Facility in Millersburg.  The residents just love hearing the children sing and chatting with them afterward.  Come and spread the “St. John’s cheer” to all those special seniors! 

- During SONday Celebration on  December 2nd, we’ll be decorating our Celebration space with all the cool things we made last month.

- December 2nd is also the Christmas “Celebration” Book Fair!  Stop by the corner classroom and check out the faith-centered children’s books available just in time for Christmas!

- The second meeting of Celebration Club is Wednesday, December 5th.  Join us for a Celebration Club Christmas!!

- You won’t want to miss our special Advent Activity on Sunday, December 16th!  The fun starts at 4:00 with an interactive marketplace with music, food, crafts and activities.  At 6:00, we’ll take things out to the barn for a semi-live Nativity!  After a short program outside, we’ll come back indoors for cookies and hot chocolate!  We hope it will be a memorable evening for everyone!

- We’ll again have 2 worship services on Christmas Eve:  the first, at 4:00, the more contemporary, kid-friendly “Celebration” Christmas Eve Service; the second, at 8:00 our traditional Candle-Light Christmas Eve Service.

- We’ll wrap up the month with another “Happy Birthday Jesus Party” on Sunday, December 30th at 9:00.  This party takes place in the Celebration space and EVERYONE is invited to attend!!

Please join us for ALL of the above activities and help us celebrate Jesus’ birth!!

Wishing you all a wonderful, Christ-filled Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year!!

Miss Laurie

Groups

• 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 - Sunday School for all ages Preschool through Adult

10:15am - Worship

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.

Men’s Choir
A Men’s Choir will again be forming to sing for Christmas Eve worship. Three rehearsals will be held – on Tuesdays, December 4, 11, and 18, from 6:30 to 7:30 each evening. A final rehearsal will be held before 4:00 P.M. worship on Christmas Eve. Since this is a new group that comes together each time, and not a standing choir, all males of any age or experience with singing are especially welcome to join the choir. Please speak with Director Carol Hubler to learn more.

Bible Study
​Midweek Bible Study will get back underway for its winter session on Wednesday, January 9, continuing an in-depth look at Women of the Bible. We often think of the Bible as being mostly about men and don’t expect to see or hear much about faithful women. But, as this study reminds us, our God is a surprising God whose work has and does include as many bold and important and memorable women as men. We will meet each Wednesday – weather permitting – from 6:30 to 8:00 P.M. through February 27, when we will take a break for Lent and Holy Week. No previous Bible study experience is required – only an interest and enthusiasm to study, reflect on, and discuss God's Word together! If you were not a part of the fall study, please register in advance (by speaking with Pastor Tom) no later than Thursday, January 3 (when he returns to the office), so that the correct number of new study books can be ordered.

St. John's Service Recordings

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