February 2020  
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Time with Pastor Tina

Set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.  Attend to the public reading of scripture, to exhorting, to teaching.  Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying of hands by the council of elders.  Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress.  Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:12-16).

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ at Salem Lutheran Church,

Grace, peace and blessings to each of you!  I am a person who loves God and loves the people of God. In 2014, I looked forward with hope to God’s call to minister to, with and among the people of God at Salem and its surrounding community.  As I was welcomed into ministry with you, we both found that God calls and uses each of us in unique and marvelous ways. My intention was not to change things for the sake of change but rather to enhance and join you in the ministries where you display strength.  Your strengths lie in the area of hospitality, your servant hearts, and your mindset for sharing your resources to help those Jesus called “the least of these.” It fills my heart with joy and to see the number of people whose lives Salem has touched during these past 5 ½ years. 

When I arrived, you were already implementing a change of language by moving away from words like “Committee” (a group of volunteers who seem to belong there “forever”) to “Team” (a group of volunteers that has an end goal in mind).  Some examples include:  The five different Sunday “Fellowship Teams” made up of individuals who share their time, talent and resources to nurture the Body of Christ after Sunday worship at Salem. The “Funeral Luncheon Team” guided by Karen McHenry who ministers to grieving families.

I think it was this model that inspired Georgy Daugherty to create four “Breakfast Teams” to serve Salem’s Free Community Breakfast held on the fourth Saturday of every month. This allows each team to serve once every three months. The community breakfast originally sprouted from the Caring Bear Ministry Georgy asked to implement.  She came to me and shared two ideas that were exciting in another church.  She had the heart and energy to serve others so as she put things into motion, others at Salem and beyond caught her vision. 

 

Several more examples include Ann Lyons who had a heart and the energy to host the Hershey Bell Choir.  She developed a team to work together so Salem could provide a free concert to the community.  Area businesses and parishioners who share her vision became donors to cover the expense.  The attendance at these concerts spilled over into the “Overflow/Fellowship” Room! Some enjoyed it so much they asked if they could remain seated in the sanctuary to relish the peace they experienced.   There is another team of individuals led by Pat Bishard, Marieceline Barton, Ruth Ann Arnolds, Anita Beck and others who have a heart and the energy to serve families affected by the opioid crisis. Working with other congregations they “found their lane” for ministry and now provide York Food Bank vouchers to low income residents who experience food insufficiency.  Wanda Morrison saw that the Thursday morning Cover Girls were diminishing.  Her heart and energy to serve others helped the Cover Girls ministry blossom at a new time on Monday evenings.  These ladies provide a great service to us and to our community.  I have barely touched the surface of events, people and areas of renewal both physical (to the property) and spiritual (to the people).  Having a heart for and the energy to serve God, empowers both old and new ministries.  Such work also energizes me.

Even financially, we’ve had a successful Capital Campaign spearheaded by Council President, Deb Kauffman with the help of the Finance Committee, chaired by Charlotte Swank.  This enabled Salem to pay for much needed repairs to the exterior and interior of the church.  Financial gifts willed to Salem by dedicated and faithful members are now helping to restore financial assets used to achieve those goals.  Your continued generosity supports our ability to continue serving God as we plant and grow future ministries.

Salem’s loving parishioners and friends who selflessly share their time, talent, and financial resources provides the means to fulfill God’s mission for Salem Lutheran Church: to share God’s love with our neighbors through God’s Word, our witness, and our actions.  I believe God continues to call us to serve others in faith, hope, and love now and into the future.  Following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and growing together in faith and service, I believe God has indeed “filled to the brim our cup of blessings.” And so, I consider it an honor and blessing to accept the call to minister to you and serve with you in the role of Pastor at Salem Lutheran Church in Jacobus, PA.

Your Sister in Service and Faith in Jesus Christ,

 

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