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Pastor's Notes from The Scribe (June 2014)

posted Jun 2, 2014, 9:22 AM by Pastor Russ Crouthamel

We know that all things work together of good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28

The theme of the 2014 Synod Assembly is “Walking Together in Christ’s Name: Disciples with a purpose.”  The word “synod” comes from the Greek “syn+hodos” and literally means “walking together.”  This synod assembly will celebrate the shared journey of ministry and mission of the 85 congregations and 11 clusters of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Synod.                 

This theme inspires me to take some time to reflect upon our own shared ministries in Punxsutawney, that is, how we have walked together in the past and how we walk together in the present. 

  • The two congregations of Mount Zion and First English have shared pastoral ministry and other ministry efforts for many decades.  This shared ministry has allowed the parish to have full time pastoral leadership, to share resources, to worship together on special occasions, and to work together when the need arises.   
  • The parish has supported many local congregations and social organizations with material donations, monetary gifts, and prayer.  This parish has supported Crosstown Food Pantry; the Salvation Army; the UCC Clean N’ Gleam Soap Pantry; the Women’s Shelter; Grace Place First Friday dinners; and others.  
  • The parish comes together each February 2 to host the Groundhog luncheon.  The proceeds from this luncheon are given to ministries on the synod territory such as Jefferson Area Lutheran Social Ministries, Bethesda Children’s Home, and the Salvation Army. 
  • The FE Concert Series Committee has hosted community choir concerts to bring together the voices and musical talents of our brothers and sisters from different denominations.  This concert has typically been well received and has enriched the choirs of each congregation.  
  • The parish works with our fellow Lutherans to: raise money for Heifer International each Lent; celebrate the Easter Vigil at Zion Lutheran; provide dinners at the Lutheran Campus Center at IUP; provide one another with pastoral support during vacancies, illnesses, or vacations; and to work with our Synod to support ministries on the NW PA territory like World Hunger, the Bweranyange Girls’ School, the Malaria Campaign, and many, many others. 

There are probably shared ministries I have missed in this Pastor’s notes section.  If there are, please let me know so I can keep them in my memory bank for future reference.  Nevertheless, I ask you to participate in an activity.  First, pray about how we can continue to “walk together in Christ” with our fellow Lutherans and non-Lutherans.  Second, write/type these ideas in the space below.  Lastly, share them with me for future joint ministries.   

In Christ ~ Pastor Maureen

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we have been baptized into your death and resurrection so that we may be united in the faith to proclaim your name in word and deed.  By your Spirit, inspire in us ways to continue to walk together so that, through our shared ministries, we may proclaim your name, spread your Father’s kingdom, and share the love of God with all people.  Amen.