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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,

            Have you ever really stopped to think about why we gather in worship?  There are many reasons certainly – maybe as many as there are individual Christians in fact – but probably the most obvious one is that we worship because God both expects and deserves our worship and thanksgiving.  Closely connected with that, we worship because we know that God has promised to feed and strengthen us in the hearing of God’s Word and in our sharing in the water of Baptism and the bread and wine of Holy Communion – in “Word & Sacrament” we commonly say in a kind of faith shorthand.  And we can go on and on from there, to speak of the joy we find in regularly meeting up with other members of our congregational family, the ways in which we learn and grow in our faith by sharing with those sisters and brothers, the inspiration we receive in the faith stories of those with whom we share a table or a pew…

            Recently, I was reading the words of an author who reminded me that another very important reason why we gather in worship is because, even though we may not like to think about it, we are always in the process of “training” to deal with the hard times and even tragedies that are sure to come our way.  We don’t know when or how, but we all know that they do come to us all.  And the more we have been steadily receiving strength and reinforcement and perspective through that same Word and Sacrament, week after week, the more resilient and the hardier we are likely to be in those inevitable times.  The writer was making the point that, as enjoyable and fulfilling as the other activities that vie for our time on Sunday morning might be (from catching up on sleep to fishing to soccer matches to cheer competitions to softball tournaments to   fill in the blank  ), none of them will adequately prepare us or those about whom we care the most for those times when the winds blow and the thunder crashes.  Jesus, of course, uses the image of the foolish person who builds on a foundation of sand to make the same point – maybe it seems easier at the moment, even more fun, than the hard work of building properly, but things don’t turn out well when it really matters.           

            I’ve often stated my contention that Jesus doesn’t expect that we never miss worship – that there are indeed sometimes other tasks to be done in God’s name that take us away on a Sunday morning.  But worship with our congregational family – or a congregational family away from home – should absolutely be our “default setting”.  Except for those infrequent times when God’s work calls us in another direction, or those occasional times where sickness or other personal emergency get in the way, worship should be where we are, for God’s sake as well as for our own.

            Please step back and prayerfully take a look at your life of worship, your participation in the Sunday life of your congregational family.  What do you see?  What is your default setting?  What do you allow to take you away?  How does that align with what you believe Jesus would want for you as His beloved child?  And – how goes that training/building project?

Pastor Tom

News from Miss Laurie, Young Christians Minister

     It’s FINALLY feeling like AUTUMN!  I love the sights, sounds and smells of this time of year!  Hopefully, fall hangs on a bit before we go rushing into winter.

     Lots of fun things are planned for November, so please get out your calendars and “plug in” the following dates:

  • Sunday, November 4th2nd annual SONday Celebration Hayride – This year our wagon will become an “ark” as we load up “two by two” and hear the story of Noah!  We set sail precisely at 9:15!
  • Wednesday, November 7th    FIRST meeting of Celebration Club – Join us from 6:30 to 8:30 for this fun, faith-filled adventure!
  • Sunday, November 18th    Celebration Decoration Party – Join us immediately after church for pizza.  Then we’re going to make Christmas ornaments and other decorations that we’ll use to adorn our Celebration Space and make it our own!  All young Christians and their families are welcome!   (This is the “preparation” step where we MAKE the decorations – we’ll do the actual DECORATING during SONday Celebration on December 2nd.)

     Mark your calendars and plan to join us for ALL these fun activities!!

     May the abundance of God’s love and grace be with you throughout November!  Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!

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 - 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.

Our annual Berrysburg Area Ecumenical Thanksgiving Eve Worship Service will be held on Wednesday, November 21, at 7:00 P.M. here at St. John. Pastor Tom will
lead our worship and Pastor Jeff Wagner of the Lykens Valley UCC Charge will preach. It is also hoped that we may be able to form a special joint choir for the evening with the folks from the UCC Charge. Please don't miss this opportunity to worship
and give thanks with your Christian neighbors

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