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St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
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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,

The month of October, with educational pursuits of all kinds back in full swing, is a really good time to take stock of your own continuing growth and education in the Faith.  We often think of this in terms of young persons (who are well-served here at St. John with Miss Laurie’s weekly SONDay Celebration and monthly Celebration Club for our youngest members, a creative Youth Sunday School gathering with Matt & Olivia Williard upstairs in our Youth Zone, and my weekly Confirmation Class for those preparing for Affirmation of Baptism), but I am especially referring to all of us post-high school adults.  Too often, I’m afraid, we tend to think of Christian Education as something that ends when we “graduate” from confirmation class around about 9th Grade, having learned by then all that we need, but nothing could be further from the truth.

(If you doubt me on this, you can do a quick two-question self-assessment.  Simply ask yourself: 1. When a Jehovah’s Witness or a Mormon appears at my door, do I feel competent giving my own testimony by sharing with them what I as a Lutheran Christian believe… or does the thought of standing toe to toe with them cause me to cower behind the closed door in fear and intimidation?  And 2. When a friend or relative who is active in a “fundamentalist” or “pentecostal” congregation sends something my way purporting to give THE Christian view on one of the hot topics of our time, do I feel competent in evaluating its biblical truth (or lack thereof) and discussing it with them… or do I simply see a couple of biblical citations that I don’t recognize and figure “Oh, if they’re quoting the Bible it must be so”?)

Assuming you see the potential for continually growing in your faith understandings, as we all need to do (including we pastors by the way), please let me commend to you three very good places to begin.  First, your own daily plan of Bible reading.  If you are looking for a starting point, our congregational family provides two very usable tools in this regard – first the Christ in Our Home quarterly devotional booklets and second the “Preparing for Next Week” section at the bottom of the back page of our weekly Celebrate bulletin inserts, which has a nice selection of varied daily readings.  Or, if you feel ready for a bigger biblical adventure like reading through the Old Testament or the New Testament or the entire Bible in a year, there are many places to find reading plans that will get you there by reading larger chunks of the Bible each day (please contact me if you can’t find a plan like this and I will fix you up).

Since our own personal daily Bible reading often seems to raise more questions than it answers, coming together with other sisters and brothers in the faith on Sunday mornings to share in Bible study is the second very important step to take.  A vibrant adult class led by a rotating team of fellow biblical students gathers each week at 9:00am upstairs, starting with a very brief opening (which includes a chance to share joys and concerns, pray, and do a bit of singing).  For part of the year a second more topical study will also be available on Sunday mornings for post-high school adults – watch for more news about this study getting together after the Christmas holidays. No one is ever forced to share or speak out loud – you can participate at your own pace!

And then finally, on Wednesday evenings in the fall, winter, and spring, I lead a 1½-hour long study from 6:30 to 8:30pm downstairs in the conference room.  Our fall study, which will get underway on October 9, will take us through The Letter to the Hebrews, a New Testament book which is quite unfamiliar to most of us but whose opening words are so important to the story of Jesus that they have a long tradition of always being read in worship on Christmas Day.  Here again you don’t need to have any previous experience with Bible studies to take part and you can participate out loud as much or as little as is comfortable for you – absolutely no pressure! So that I can order the correct number of study books for our time together, please register in advance (by simply emailing, calling or speaking with me) no later than Tuesday, October 1. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact me about any or all of the above.  And make this a year to grow!

Pastor Tom

News from Miss Laurie, Young Christians Minister

Happy autumn, everyone!  It’s hard to believe it’s October, but those leaves are starting to change color and the smell of fall is in the air, so it MUST be true!  Only a month until we turn those clocks back, so enjoy the daylight while we still have it!! And enjoy the fall activities we have scheduled here at St. John’s, too!

Our second Celebration Club happens on October 2nd!  Join us from 6:30 – 8:30 pm as we hear the story of the Prodigal Son!  We’ll have lots of activities, and a craft to reinforce the story, too!   There is music, fun and treats abound, so mark your calendar and plan to be part of the fun!!  All children preschool through 4th grade are welcome to attend!!

On Sunday, October 13th during SONday Celebration, we’re going to go outside and have an Autumn Leaf Hunt!  Of course then we’ll have to make a craft with leaves and have some leaf activities. And we’ll talk about how things change, like the leaves in fall, but one thing is constant – Jesus NEVER changes!

Another October activity is the annual Autumn Drive-In Movie Night!  This year it is scheduled for Saturday, October 26th, and EVERYONE (even if you’re not a kid) is welcome to attend!  It is so cool to sit out under the stars and watch an entertaining show, so come out and join us!  We’ll have the movie rain or shine; we’ll just move inside if the weather doesn’t cooperate! The pre-show fun starts at 6:00 and we’ll get the show started as soon as it gets dark enough.  Put this one on your calendar and plan to attend!

There are lots of ways to fellowship and expand your faith here on the “hill”!  This fall, come out and join 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

Green Team

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.

GIfts of God


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