E-News for
January 3, 2018
Synod News and Upcoming Events 
2018 Standard Mileage Reimbursement Rate is 54.5 cents

The Internal Revenue Service has issued its 2018 optional standard mileage rates. Effective January 1st, 2018, the IRS standard rate will be 54.5 cents per mile driven for ministry or business purposes (The new rate is up from 53.5 cents per mile for 2017 because of higher gas prices). Use of this rate is optional, though it is widely seen by churches as a simple way to determine a standard rate for calculating mileage reimbursement for employees who use their personal vehicle for ministry or business purposes. If your organization uses the IRS rate to calculate mileage reimbursement, be sure to update your systems to account for this change. Clergy always have the option of claiming deductions based on the actual costs of using a vehicle rather than the standard mileage rates.

Upcoming Events

January 18. Knitting Together the Ministries of Word and Sacrament. Working Ideas into Action. 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Nativity Lutheran Church, 4004 W. Tilghman St., Allentown, PA 18104. The first brainstorming meeting whirled some productive ideas and insights up and around. At the next meeting, we will follow-up on those ideas, insights, and the thoughts that have presented themselves in the meantime. This meeting is open also to folks who did not attend the first event. Let us know, though, because we’ll send you the brainstorming notes ahead of time. Contact or RSVP either to Linda Zwaski (lzawaski@hotmail.com) or Anja Stuckenberger (astuckenberger@gmail.com).

January 27. Learning Ministries Day 2018. LM Day will be held at Christ Hamilton United Lutheran Church in Hamilton Square, Stroudsburg, on Saturday, January 27 starting at 8:30 AM with registration and concluding at 3:00 PM. Visit the synod website for more information and to register.

March 17. Farm Family Appreciation Celebration. Doors open at 6:15 PM, but no earlier. Dinner buffet – 7:00 to 8:00 PM (Tables will be held for families that work late.) Hoedown and Country music by “The Outlaws,” with line dance music between sets – 8:00 to 11:00 PM. Hamburg Field House, Hamburg, PA - Exit #30 off I-78. For more information and to register, visit the synod website.
The Wider Church 
Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding
First Friday Program

January 5

The Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding will host a First Friday luncheon program on January 5 @ 12:00-1:00pm. “Health Policy and Public Health.” Ms. Chrysan Cronin, Director of Public Health Program Lecturer, Public Health, Muhlenberg College. Seegers Union, Rooms 111 & 112, Muhlenberg College. Free and open to the public. Bring your lunch or buy lunch at Seegers Union. Be sure to leave ample time to locate on-street parking as this program begins promptly at Noon. Visit http://www.muhlenberg.edu/cultural/ijcu/firstfriday for information on this and upcoming programs, or call 484-664-3470.

Monthly Stewardship Resource Kit

The Lower Susquehanna Synod offers a monthly Stewardship Resource Kit that has brief RCL-based bulletin inserts relating to stewardship for every Sunday, plus a newsletter article folks can cut-and-paste into their congregational publications. There are also links to online resources to teach, do, lead, preach about and think about stewardship.

Please Remember the Following in Your Prayers
​​New and Updates

► Jeremiah Sassaman (St. Paul, Mertztown; revjr3@ptd.net) and his wife, Beth Ann. Congratulations at the birth of their daughter, Tabitha Mary, on December 30, 2017.

​​Continuing in Our Prayers

 Catherine Brettell, mother of Dan Brettell (St. Paul, Bethlehem; pastordanbrettell@ptd.net) is dealing with various health issues.

Elizabeth Darr, wife of Tom Darr (Trinity, Topton; revdrrthms@gmail.com) is recuperating from an additional surgery.

Byard Ebling (retired; bjebln@hotmail.com) is recuperating at a nursing home.

► Dana Heckman-Beil (Good Shepherd, Ashland; PastorDana@ptd.net) is recovering from a broken ankle.

► Eric Hill, son of Pastor David and Susan Hill (retired; selhill@aol.com), is receiving targeted therapy treatments.

Hannah Lisowski, daughter of Lois Sterling (lay pastoral care provider for St. Paul, Port Carbon), was in a serious accident and is in the trauma unit at Lehigh Valley Cedar Crest.

​​ Nancy Moore (Trinity, Lehighton; nlmoore91157@gmail.com) continues
to make improvement with NeuroVision Therapy in Kingston following an auto accident on June 10.

► Sandy Richards, wife of Tom Richards (retired; masterpastor@verizon.net), is dealing with a variety of health issues.

Smoky Schelly (former member of the synod executive staff; schellyfam@ptd.net) is dealing with serious health issues.

► Muriel Schmoyer, wife of Carl Schmoyer (retired), is under hospice care.

Lois Seip, wife of Durrell Seip (retired; dseip81@gmail.com) is recovering at home following a hospitalization for ongoing degenerative vertebrae.

► Beth Ann Vaughn (Music Ministry Director; St. John, Emmaus) is recovering from hip replacement surgery.

Paul Xander (Chaplain, Good Shepherd Rehab) is hospitalized with an infection.
Upcoming Installations
Karen Matthias-Long will be installed as deacon at Trinity, Lansdale, 1000 W Main Street, Lansdale on Thursday, January 11 at 6:30 pm. Worship will be "Dinner Church"; so if you plan to attend, please email Karen at kmatthiaslong@trinitylansdale.com.
David Blitch will be installed as pastor at Salem Belleman’s, Mohrsville on Sunday, January 14 at 3:00 pm.
Spencer D. Steele will be ordained on Sunday, January 14, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Dana Point, CA.
Sister Janet Stump will be installed as Deacon at St. Timothy, Allentown on Sunday, January 14, at 10:30 a.m.
Spencer D. Steele will be installed as assistant pastor at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit, Emmaus on Sunday, February 25, at 3:00 pm.
Kathleen Yenser will be installed as deacon at St. John, Reading on Sunday, February 25, at 10:00 a.m.
Positions Available
New Listings:

P/T Parish Secretary (12-29)

Zion United, Brodheadsville is seeking a part-time Parish Secretary (16 hours), M-Th. Excellent computer skills required (Microsoft Office and Microsoft Publisher). Duties include data entry, general office skills, scheduling. Must be able to maintain confidentiality. Experience with church management software and Sundays & Seasons a plus. Experience preferred. Please send letter of interest, resume & references to zionulc@ptd.net.

P/T Church Treasurer (12-27)

St. John’s, Williams Township seeks a church treasurer. The annual salary is $1,122. Should be familiar with Microsoft Office, Word, Excel and payroll. Anyone interested in the position is invited to contact Jack Helm, 610-258-5779 or papjak42@aol.com for further information.

P/T Church Secretary (12-27)

St. John’s, Williams Township seeks a church secretary. Approximately 7-8 hours per week; the annual salary is $1,122. Should be familiar with Microsoft Office, Word, Excel and possess ability to update website. Anyone interested in the position is invited to contact Jack Helm, 610-258-5779 or papjak42@aol.com for further information.

Repeat Listings (Date listed)

P/T Organist (11-8)

Holy Spirit, Reading is seeking a part time Organist. Responsibilities include 1 Sunday morning worship each week plus usual seasonal services. Instrument is recently restored 36 rank EM Skinner organ. For additional information, please send resume to Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, 421 Windsor St, Reading PA 19601; or email to holyspiritrdg@gmail.com, or contact the Church office at 610-376-0825.

P/T Church treasurer (10-27)

Zion's, King's Highway S., Old Zionsville. The annual salary is $5,000. Anyone interested in the position should contact Isabel 610-844-1326 or isbarmill@ptd.net or Eleanor, Adm. Asst. at Zion's, 610-966-3834 for further information.

P/T Music Director/Organist (10-18)

St. John, Stroudsburg seeks a P/T Music Director/Organist. Experience preferred. Sundays, holidays, special services, and choir rehearsals. Approximately 12-14 hours per week. Interested individuals should provide a resume and 3 references to St. John Lutheran Church, 9 North 9th Street, Stroudsburg, PA 18360, c/o Pr. Moser.

Items Available 

For Sale

Samsung Black Toner Cartridge ML-D3050A, 4,000 page yield, box never opened, valued at $115.99, will take $75 or best offer. Contact Monica at Jordan, Orefield at jordanlutheran@ptd.net.

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Paul Braden: nepsinfo1988@gmail.com  
Website and E-News Editor