E-News for
March 3, 2020
Synod News and Upcoming Events 
Corona Virus Information

PAVOAD (Pennsylvania Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) would like to share some information on COVID-19, the coronavirus. Lutheran Disaster Response – Eastern PA is a member and on the Board of PAVOAD. There are still no confirmed cases in Pennsylvania. However, planning ahead is always advisable and this is a great time to begin considering the systems and preparations your congregation has in place. Therefore, we recommend that you:
  • Advise your staff and clients and members to review their family emergency plans. For more information go to https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/FamEmePlan_2012.pdf.
  • Take time to prepare now. View the PA Emergency Preparedness Guide.
  • Create plans to enable your staff to work remotely if that becomes a necessity.
  • Remind your community and networks that rumor controland regular situational awareness are essential. Please get your information from trusted sources like the PA Department of Health and/or the CDC. This includes information for travelers, businesses, children, and fact sheets.
Interim Planning Guidance
Print Resources to Share
Bishop Election Survey Report

We recently completed three information gathering sessions (yielding 151 survey responses) and conducted an on-line survey available for those who could not attend the in-person sessions (yielding another 121 survey responses, as it just closed). We think the total of 272 surveys represent a nice mix of laity and clergy feedback, with a varied diversity of voices representing different Lutherans in our Synod.

We are making the raw survey responses available so all can see what we heard. The team coordinating this work is now working to prioritize the missions and ministries the next bishop should consider. That team is also working to prioritize the skills and gifts the next bishop needs to be successful in that important role. These survey results, the prioritization described above, and preliminary question development for candidates for the role of Bishop will be discussed at three upcoming sessions throughout the Synod, all from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon:

April 25, Bern Lutheran Church, 820 W. Leesport Rd., Leesport (north of Reading on Route 183);

May 9, Union Lutheran Church, 5500 Route 873, Schnecksville;

May 16, Christ Lutheran Church, 467 Main St., Conyngham.

Read the Survey Questions
See the Actual Reponses
Mission Support Giving in 2019

In 2019 the congregations of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod contributed a total of $1,878,460.12 to undesignated Mission Support. Of this total amount, $995,583.86 (53%) stayed in the Synod and $882,876.26 (47%) was sent on to the ELCA to support various ministries. Click the button below for an announcement to share with your congregation and thank them for their 2019 mission support giving. It is laid out in the bulletin insert format, but can be adapted for website, social media platforms or newsletter. The synod website www.nepasynod.org has a library of stories that you can share with your congregations. Look for it under the “Stories/Stories of Faith in Action” tabs.

Download the Insert
Upcoming Events

March 14 & 22. Youth Gathering 2021 Info Meetings. The ELCA Youth Gathering is coming! Join our synod coordinator, Becky East, and our synod's YoYoFa team as we discuss important Gathering dates to know, share fundraising ideas, look at a rough budget plan, and answer as many questions as possible. Info sessions are for youth, group leaders, and pastors. Please submit questions at the link below as Becky will be going to Minneapolis for training this month and would love to get your questions answered while there.

Saturday, March 14, 10 a.m. Lutheran Center 2354 Grove Rd, Allentown, PA 18109.

Sunday, March 22, 3 p.m. Advent West Lawn 16 Telford Avenue, West Lawn, PA 19609.

Click here to sign up for either date, so we know to expect you!

March 21. Class for Lay Persons. “Entrust Your Prayer to Chants.” Pastor Tom Lichner. will introduce the gathering to chanting for personal and corporate prayer, chants that he has composed, chant-friendly websites, how to use portions of familiar ELW hymns as chants, and how chanting is especially suitable for paperless-hands-free singing. Class meets at the Lutheran Center, 2345 Grove Road, Allentown from 9 am-12 noon. Any member or friend of a NEPS congregation is welcomed to attend. Cost is $10 and can be paid the morning of the event, but you must register by Monday, March 16 by contacting Deacon Marlane Druckenmiller (marlane@nepsynod.org).

March 21. 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 p.m. Theme: Trucks. Feel free to support your favorite brand of truck! Hamburg Field House, Hamburg, PA - Exit #30 off I-78. For more information and to register, please visit: http://nepasynod.org/event/farm-family-appreciation/.

March 28. NEPA WELCA Spring Justice Retreat. 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. St. Paul Lutheran Church , 8227 Hamilton Boulevard Breinigsville, PA 18087. Theme: “Diversity – Reaching Across Barriers to Live as God’s People.” The day will focus on our call to action through advocacy and how advocacy is expressed in our daily lives. Keynote Speaker: Rev. Jeffrey J. Butz, Pastor at Zion’s Union Church Maxatawny and adjunct professor of World Religions at Penn State University, Allentown and Reading campuses. Afternoon Session Leader: Rev. Kristen Glass-Perez Muhlenberg College Chaplain. Download a Flyer (http://nepasynod.org/documents/NEPA-WELCA-spring-retreat-flyer-2020.pdf). Download the Registration Form (http://nepasynod.org/documents/NEPA-WELCA-spring-retreat-registration-2020.pdf).

March 28. Embracing the Full Household of God: How to know, serve, and love the refugees and immigrants in our communities. Saturday, March 28, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. First Presbyterian Church, 3231 Tilghman Street, Allentown. Embracing the Full Household of God is an all-day event designed to help participants reach out in love to immigrants and refugees in their communities. Learn real-life examples of what people who come into this country experience. Explore what scripture says about offering welcome and how the Church has done so throughout history. Understand the unique needs of immigrants and refugees in our communities and hear from others who have successfully developed meaningful relationships and effective programs. The event is free, but registration is required. Lunch is included.

More Information and Register: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07egv464ir4ec16536&llr=4o9pmhtab.

Download a Flyer: https://diobeth.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Embracing-the-full-household-of-God.pdf.

Electing Our Next Synod Bishop.

April 25 - Bern Lutheran Church, 820 W. Leesport Rd., Leesport (north of Reading on Route 183)

May 9 - Union Lutheran Church, 5500 Route 873, Schnecksville

May 16 - Christ Lutheran Church, 467 Main St., Conyngham

All meetings will be held from 9:00 a.m. – Noon. These sessions are to follow up on the recent survey meetings. Participants will discuss synod mission priorities and the skills/spiritual gifts needed in the next synod bishop. Preliminary questions will also be developed for Bishop candidates at Synod Assembly. Rostered ministers and lay members of synod congregations are encouraged to attend.

The Wider Church 
Registration is now open for the 2020 Rostered Ministers Gathering, July 20-23 in Phoenix!

Gathering highlights:
  • 100 workshops offered over four workshop blocks
  • 85,000-square-foot interaction center with over 30 exhibits
  • Beer and hymns
  • Banquet celebrating women’s ordination
  • Featured guests and speakers, including:
  • The Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, The Episcopal Church
  • Krish Vignarajah, CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
  • The Rev. Karoline Lewis, chair in biblical preaching at Luther Seminary

Early registration (Feb. 20-May 20) is $245. Booking travel and hotel is your responsibility. Once you register, you will be provided with links to the three gathering hotels, each with a room rate of $139/night plus tax. A limited number of scholarships are available.
More Information
2020 Churchwide Summer Internships

The ELCA summer internship program provides the opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to develop and refine their professional skills in their areas of study while experiencing the work of the churchwide organization. The start date will be June 8 (end dates will be decided based on needs of the unit and the intern). The hourly rate is $14.00. These are full-time, 40 hours/week internships. Interns will have the chance to join Bishop Eaton for lunch, participate in lunch and learn sessions with units and offices and attend a field trip or two to some of our local ministry sites. Prospective summer interns must be at least 18 years of age and should be enrolled in an undergraduate/graduate degree program. If selected, interns are responsible for securing housing for the summer. Please note: Individuals who have held internship positions with the churchwide organization in the past are not eligible.
Job Descriptions (Scroll down the page)
ELCA Global Links

“IELCO and ELCA collaborate on consultation in Colombia.” This month, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia (IELCO) partnered with the ELCA’s Domestic Mission and Global Mission units on a consultation, the theme of which was “Ayni, Desde las Orillas” or “Ayni, From the Shores.” Attending were leaders of the Lutheran churches in Latin America and the Caribbean and of the Latinx congregations and Native American communities of the ELCA. The consultation addressed the topics of native communities, migration, congregational vitality and theological education.
Read the February Edition
Please Remember the Following in Your Prayers
​​New and Updates

► Linda Maule (deacon, Light of Christ; maule@ptd.net) and her husband, Gordon. Linda is recuperating at home after hip replacement surgery, and Gordon is dealing with a number of health issues.

​​Continuing in Our Prayers

Donald Beck (retired; serving St. Luke’s Greeley, part-time; revdonbeck@verizon.net) is dealing with significant health issues.

► Dan Clayborne (Emmanuel’s, Emanuelsville; tdclayborne@gmail.com) has been diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy.

► Ed Cloughen (retired; EWC4PAR@aol.com) is receiving rehabilitation after a fall.

► Harry Goos (retired; rhgoos@comcast.net) is recuperating after a fall.

► Robert Hughes (retired; hughesrobertg@gmail.com) is receiving chemotherapy while battling cancer.

Kerry Smart, husband of Jane Kropa (retired; gawain2324@gmail.com) is scheduled for rotator cuff surgery on March 4.

► Phyllis Pelletier (Shepherd of the Hills, Dushore; pastorpa@ptd.net) is recovering at home after surgery.

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

► Nancy (“Gidget”) Schwartz (wife of Don Schwartz, St. Andrew, Summit Lawn; dj1743schwartz19@yahoo.com) is now home from the hospital and is receiving out-patient treatments for cancer.

Durrell Seip (retired; dseip81@gmail.com) and his wife, Lois. Both are dealing with ongoing health issues.

► Stan Trout (retired; srtrout@ptd.net) is recovering at home after a hospitalization.

Upcoming Installations

Tom Neel will be installed as pastor at St. Andrew, Easton on Sunday, March 15, at 3:30 p.m.

Wes Poole will be installed as pastor at Good Shepherd, Wilkes-Barre on Sunday, May 3 at 4:00 p.m.

Colleen Cox will be installed as pastor at Grace, Shillington on Sunday, June 14. Time TBD.

Positions Available
New Listings:

P/T Ministry Assistant (2-26)

St. Paul, Fleetwood, seeks a part-time Ministry Assistant. Approximately 10 hours per week at $15 per hour. The Ministry Assistant will work under the direction of the Pastor. This will require at least one meeting each week with the Pastor (and other staff members if needed). The job will be to serve as support staff for Youth & Family Ministries. This will involve interacting with the Adult Youth Leaders, the Christian Education Director and the Catechism Teachers in order to create and plan activities designed to address the needs of Youth and their families. To apply or for more information contact Pr. Tom Lang, St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 117 East Arch Street, Fleetwood, PA 19522. 610-944-8388 or pastor@spelcfleetwood.com.

Repeat Listings (Date listed)
Please note: To view listings more than 90 days old, visit the synod website

at http://nepasynod.org/documents/positions-items-available.pdf.

P/T Office Manager/Administrative Assistant (2-6)

Christ, Hazleton seeks a talented, compassionate and reliable individual for a part time position of office manager/administrative assistant. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 – 1:00 (20 hours per week). The candidate should have good communication and organizational skills, as well as proficiency with Windows 10, Microsoft Office and familiarity with Publisher. Background checks are required. Paid training will be provided from early to mid -April and until the person assumes full responsibility at the end of May. Please send resumes to wlupole@ptd.net or by mail, Christ Lutheran Church, 210 West Green Street, Hazleton, Pa. 18201.

P/T Director of Music (1-24)

Trinity, Topton is seeking a Music Director. Trinity holds one service each Sunday at 9:00. Our Music Director supports our services by playing organ, piano and leading our choir. Trinity has a fantastic 22 rank organ that was installed 5 years ago. Please send resume to trinitytop@aol.com.

P/T Parish Secretary (1-24)

St. John, Mohnton is looking for a Parish Secretary. 20 hours/week. Needs proficiency in MS Office. The Parish Secretary provides administrative services within St. John’s for worship services and ministries, records financial contributions, and oversees day-to-day operations. Compensation is commensurate with experience.

If interested, please send a resume to pastor@stjohnsmohnton.org.

P/T Asst. Office Administrator (1-15)

Union, Schnecksville is seeking a talented individual to serve as Asst. Office Administrator. This person will assist with administrative services to the Pastor, Church Council, and committees in order to facilitate the Christian mission of the congregation. The position is part-time, 32 hours per week, Monday through Friday. Must possess general administrative office skills, the ability to effectively multi-task, strong organizational skills, and be proficient in Microsoft Office software. Must be able to work independently with minimal supervision. Appropriate background checks and clearances expected. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to Union Lutheran Church, 5500 Route 873, Schnecksville, PA 18078, or via email to office@ulclv.org.

P/T Director of Music (1-6)

Reformation, Reading, is seeking a creative director of music to lead our congregational song using organ and piano, and a choir of 15 people for two Sunday services each week. We have an Allen organ, and a 7-foot Yamaha grand piano. Send resume to pastor@reformationlutheran.org.

P/T Cleaning and Maintenance (12-24)

Huffs Union Church, Alburtis, is looking for a person to clean campus buildings, perform light maintenance and maintain supplies. We offer competitive hourly rates and flexible hours. Background checks are required. Send a resume and references to James Meitzler Sr., Personnel Committee Chair to C/O Huffs Union Church 540 Conrad Rd., Alburtis, Pa 18011.

P/T Volunteer Coordinator (12-10)

St. Josephs Hill, Boyertown is hiring a part-time volunteer coordinator. The purpose of this position is to provide all members an opportunity to serve as volunteers in the congregation; and to coordinate the ways in which members are identified, recruited, trained, and supported in volunteer ministries. This position will also contribute to the church’s mission and the members’ spiritual growth through volunteer services. A maximum of 15 hours a week, including a bi-weekly staff meeting is required to fulfill these duties. The hours will fluctuate depending on the season, and the hours are flexible. If you would welcome an opportunity to plan and organize our volunteers, please contact Jill at 610-369-0990 for a complete job description.

P/T Choir Director (12-9)

St Daniel, Robesonia, is seeking a Choir Director to join the congregation’s music ministry team. This is a part-time position be serving weekly from September 1 through the Day of Pentecost with one rehearsal plus Sunday off each month while leading a 12 to 15 voice choir. An additional responsibility is working with the Reading Pops Orchestra to present the extremely popular Annual Christmas Vesper Service. Questions or resumes should be labeled “Confidential, Choir Director Applicant” and can be sent to the church at 480 Big Spring Road, Robesonia, PA 19551 or by e-mail to stdanch@comcast.com.

F/T Office Manager (11-26)

Bear Creek Camp and Conference Center (3601 Bear Creek Blvd, Wilkes Barre PA 18702) is looking for an Office Manager to provide support for the staff, volunteer leadership, and the overall ministry of the camp. Year-round, full-time, hourly-paid with responsibilities for: summer camp and 2nd season programing - primarily in registration management; clerical - receptionist, file management, mailing coordination, and schedule oversight; financial – record keeping, bill paying, salaries, and financial reporting; database management. A full job description and application are available on the camp website: http://bearcreekcamp.org/employment-opportunities/. Direct any other questions through the camp email: bccamp@bearcreekcamp.org.

P/T Music Director (11-22)

St. John, Sinking Spring, is seeking an energetic, qualified professional to fill the position of Music Director. The prospective candidate will be proficient on organ (Casavant Opus 3893 pipe organ) and piano and have the ability to provide a blend of musical styles, both traditional and contemporary. Ideally, the candidate will also lead the senior choir. We have two services on Sunday and the choir sings at the later service. Compensation is commensurate with experience and includes 4 weeks of paid vacation time. Full job description available upon request: 610-678-1088 or pastor@saintjohnss.com. Please send resume to: St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 4125 Penn Avenue, Sinking Spring, PA 19608.

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