This Week

Pastor Jim's Weekly Message

As you read this email, I am with Matthew in Elbigenalp, Austria trying to improve my carving skills. I first began coming to this carving school back in 1999 and have established some very nice relationships with the folks who work here at the school and even some of the town folks who I only get to see every other year. Each visit gives us a lot of time to catch up on what has been happening in our lives since the last visit. This also makes sure I keep my German language skills fresh. I have also seen the children of the school's owners grow from little kids to now being part of the family business and being poised to take over the business when the time comes. In the same light, Martin and Helena, the owners, have seen Matthew grow from a baby to a young man getting ready to start out on his own adventures.

I enjoy coming here because the school is nestled in the Austrian Alps. It is in a valley with the beautiful Lech River running along it. Right behind the school is a road that leads up the mountain. Matthew and I try to hike up this road (and then on to some walking paths, across a large stream and then down the other side of the stream back down to town) a couple of times after dinner while we are here. The roundtrip takes us about 3 hours and then we sleep very well that night. Our goal is to hike to the cross at the top of the trails, say a quick prayer, and then head down the other side.

This village and the mountains around it just remind me what a beautiful creation God has made for us and how we need to care for it and appreciate it. It also reminds us that we need to stop every so often throughout our day and pray to God and thank him for all that he has given us. Wherever you are, take a moment every so often to stop, appreciate what God has given you and say a quick word of thanks.

I will try to post some photos throughout the week on Facebook. Please say a prayer for us for safe travels. Gruess Gott und auf Wiedersehen! Bis bald!!

Pastor Jim

This Week’s Gospel: John 14:23-29

As Jesus talks of returning to the Father, he promises to send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who will teach Jesus’ followers and remind them of all that Jesus taught. Even more, those in whom God makes a home will experience a peace that overcomes fear.

23Jesus answered [Judas (not Iscariot),] “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.

25“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. 28You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.”

This Week at St. Mark's

Friday, May 20 - Pastor on Vacation - Marsha on Vacation - Walking Club 10 AM

Saturday, May 21 - Pastor on Vacation - Marsha on Vacation - Farmer’s Market 8 AM

Sunday, May 22 - Marsha on Vacation - Church Service 9 AM with Houck Baptism, Sunday School 10:15 AM, Narcotics Anonymous 7 PM

Monday, May 23 - Walking Club 10 AM, BB&B at Keystone Villa 6 PM

Tuesday, May 24 - Hopewell Love Food Bank 4 PM, Christian Education 7 pm

Wednesday, May 25 - Walking Club 10:30 AM, Bible Study 11 AM, Hamilton Bag Pipe Practice 7 PM, Al-Anon & AA 7:30 PM

Thursday, May 26 - Ascension Day, Preschool Graduation 10 AM, Meal for Safe Berks 2:30 PM

Friday, May 27 - Walking Club 10 AM, Girl Scouts 5:30 PM, Youth Group 6 PM

Sunday, May 29 - Memorial Day - Church Service with Major General Clifford Stanley 9 AM, Reception for Major General Clifford Stanley 10:15 AM, Sunday School & Young Disciples 10:15 AM, Cub Scout 4 PM, Narcotics Anonymous 7 PM