From the Desk of Pr Jon

We all remember what it’s like to return to school for the first day in a new grade or to a new school building. When I was a kid, I remember how the first day was both exciting and terrifying! The excitement comes because you get to experience a new place, meet your old friends and get ready to learn new things. I suppose at a certain age, there’s new “love” to be discovered and/or admired from a safe distance. The terror comes if you don’t know many of the kids in the school, or you don’t have the nice clothing or popular styles everyone else seems to be wearing or if you don’t have the right school supplies, or worse yet, someone teases or picks on you. We adults often forget that our children may have a rough day ahead of them the first day in a new school if they don’t soon make new friends or have their old pals to hang with or talk to. Perhaps it’s the same with a new person coming to our church! What if you were visiting Elias for the first time? Would you be able to feel comfortable? Would you worry you were not wearing the right kind of clothing? Would you feel you had the “right stuff” to fit in? If you did not know a soul here, would you feel comfortable making conversation with your neighbor? This is something all of us need to keep in mind, especially when a visitor or guest comes in for worship. *Please note, that, actually, from all I see and hear, we’re doing a good job at this. However, please keep remembering that our visitors are as shy or shyer than you are and they may be disoriented when coming into our sanctuary the first time. Please greet them and make them feel at home, but don’t overwhelm them – this is a difficult balancing act, but with practice we get better and better at it. 

Make sure our visitors get a bulletin when they come in—sometimes they come through Parish Hall door or arrive late, so, if you are their neighbor, please get a bulletin for them or give them yours. It’s ok to step out a moment and get yourself another one if service has begun. Help them find the correct page in the hymnal—believe it or not -- we almost always list the page numbers of “where we are” in the service in the bulletin. And if you can learn their name during the peace or at service’s end, this is a wonderful way to begin new friendships. Even better, when they say their name, please write it down if you can and share this with the pastor or ask them to record it in one of the little red booklets in the pews—this would be an easy and quick way for you to remember their name.

Also, if you have time and they are interested, offer to show them around the church—esp. point out where rest rooms are. Some visitors want to be noticed and will go out the front door of the church to see Pastor Jon. Others may wish to exit without fanfare and seem to already know how to go out Elias’ side doors…then we may not get their name—so you be the missionary. Finally, without being overbearing, invite them to sign our Elias Guest Book at the back of the church, and if they’d like to learn more about the congregation give them our church brochure. We can all work together to welcome our guests and visitors, and with the Spirit’s leading we shall grow the church to the glory of God and Christ our Lord.

If you have an idea for a special service at Elias (note: there are some special Sunday services coming up) please tell Pastor or Council person your idea . . . we are learning that anything special we do with worship may be an avenue for a new person to visit or get involved with our ministries. Even better, when we do something “out of the ordinary” please invite a guest and/or tell your children, grandchildren (let alone invite your parents back) -- to come with you to church. Blessings to you, see you for worship and ministry in and around Elias. Let’s show and tell the Good News about God’s Love in Christ Jesus to all we meet and be missionaries wherever we go. Amen!
Pr Jon
Here N’ There: September and October


Elias’ Coffee House Ministry, Jumps into the FALL SEASON on September 10th  7-9:45 p.m. FEATURING: “SOUL’D OUT! BAND” and our own SILVER LINING BAND! The evening begins early at 4:30 p.m. with a Grilled Chicken Dinner ($10/person or your kind donation—nobody goes hungry!). We will serve until 7:30 p.m. Then the Coffee House starts. Proceeds from the CHICKEN DINNER will benefit the Mission to Kenya 2011…. Coming on October 8th is PRECIOUS DAY! This band was one of the first to play at The Basement Cofee House, they like to get us all involved, so it’s going to be much fun. Please mark your Calendar for these upcoming exciting evenings down in the The Basement, where CHRIST IS OUR FOUNDATION!


It’s not in the Red Book, but we’re going to do it anyway -- to the glory of God! The Blessing of the Animals is happening at Elias on Sunday, October 3rd 10:30 a.m. Details are yet to be worked out, but the word is – bring your pet to church on this special Sunday morning! We ask you bring any “people friendly pets” (dogs must be on a leash, cats are perhaps best in a small carrier) to church—do your best to prepare them before service. Other animals too small for a collar—please keep them in a carrier—suitable bowl for fish and/or whatever is appropriate, comfortable for them and you--and safe. Animals of larger sizes may need to be on halters and perhaps best to stay just outside church front door on the Elias lawn – “We’ll bless ‘em if they come to church!” So bring your creatures that you can keep controlled and disciplined (for safety sake). All are welcome, (our new church growth strategy). Also bring a friend for this first-ever Elias service of worship and celebration. Due to the blessing and “communing” with our animals—this will be a non-communion service. Of course, the hymnody will reflect our admiration and appreciation of “All Creatures of our God and King.” Perhaps a photographer will be on hand to capture this special moment of blessing and fellowship as we share in faith and appreciation for “All God’s Creatures Great and Small.” See you here, the good Lord willing, with “Myles E. Boy” Coon Cat in tow – all Church mice beware!

Kids Sunday School Schedule:

Elias Sunday SChool is every Sunday starting in September 12th at 9:15 a.m.

Thanksgiving and appreciation for our LEADERS of Emmitsburg Council of Churches Vacation Bible School Program: Johanna and Renata Schmersal – with just a little bit of help from Papa Schmersal! Thanks so much to everyone who helped to make ECC VBS 2010 a great success!
Fair Trade Coffee

We have a fresh shipment of Fair Trade coffee now on sale in the vestibule of Parish Hall. 12oz bags of ground coffee are $7 and 2lb. Bags of Breakfast Blend—whole bean are $15. For the extra serious strong coffee lover, there is (1) – 5lb. Bag of whole bean Nicaraguan $36—see Pr Jon --- its in the office. Enjoy these delicious coffees—it’s good for small farmers and will positively make your day!J

The Emmitsburg Council of Churches bi-monthly Meeting is on September 14th at 7 p.m. at St. Anthony's.
Mar-Lu Ridge Camp Thank You Letters:

Dear Elias Congregation,

Thank you for all the things you did [to get me to camp]. I had a lot of fun and met new cool people, learned new things. I would really want to go [again] next year. I am going to miss all my friends I had the funnest week ever, thank you for enabling me to go!

Isaiah Fannin

Dear Elias Congregation!

Thank you for letting us go to Mar-Lu-Ridge this year. I would really love to go back again. I loved all the things I did at this camp, and the best year at MLR ever! It takes all the stress away from home because your always having fun at MLR. You don’t know what you’re going to do at MLR, but you know its always going to be fun. It feels like a vacation from electronics, TV, and the rest of the world. Thank you for this enjoyable experience at Mar Lu-Ridge. Your member of Elias and sincerely, Jacob Fannin
Indeed, a GREAT TIME was had be all our Elias Kids!! The Camp really serves our children well – they didn’t mention that they did a lot of Bible Studies, talked about their faith, ate fantastic food, sang a lot of silly songs—but also sang a lot of praise songs to God and our Lord Jesus. Our Junior Campers were: Eric and Sean Himes and Hannah Fannin. Pr Jon also had an awesome time hanging out with the kids and assisting with the dramatized story of the Exodus, which was the theme for CONFIRMATION CAMP 2010 – as well as PRAYER—GOD’s FACEBOOK! If you ever need a stand-in Joseph son of Jacob, just provide a rainbow colored moo moo night gown . . .and Pastor Jon will do the rest.J

Once again, on Sunday, November 14th, 10:30 a.m., we’re looking forward to another great service with our guest musicians The Monocracy River Boys -- featuring our own, William Boyd Sr.! This service will be a combination celebration of Veterans Day and Fall Harvest time. So if you’re a Veteran or a family member of one, please come and bring a picture of you or your loved one – these will be placed on a special table located on the front pews—so photos of many sizes will be accommodated. Please invite a guest (one who enjoys Bluegrass Gospel music), let’s worship the Lord Jesus, share the love of God and give thanks to those who have given of their lives and service for our Country.
Acolyte Schedule September & October 2010:

Sept 5 – Bryant Hoffman & Bob Hampson

Sept 12 – Taylor Wiles & Eric Himes

Sept 19 – Hannah & Isaiah Fannin
Sept 26 –Arielle Mumm & Taylor Wiles
Oct 3 – Eric Himes & Jacob Fannin
Oct 10– Hannah Fannin & Arielle Mumm
Oct 17 -- Eric Himes & Isaiah Fannin
Oct 24 – Hannah Fannin and Taylor Wiles
Oct 31 – Jacob Fannin and Eric Himes
Nov 7 – Bryant Hoffman and Bob Hampson


9:30-10 a.m. Come as you are, bring a friend! Join the group after service at McDonalds for coffee!
A Moment with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther

The Stress Should be on Faith in Particular…

In defense of Luther’s Thesis at Leipzig, published in 1519 (2 years after the 95 Thesis)
“With great danger works are preached before Faith. But faith without works is preached without any danger, because people are ready and inclined to rely on works, and works readily mean more than faith to them. But where pure faith is taught in the right way, works will come spontaneously and without danger, if only people have learned that more, yes, all, depends on faith, which is to produce the works.”
From another of Luther’s sermons based upon Jesus reply to John’s disciples in Matthew chapter 11: “Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have Good News brought to them” (Matt. 11:4-5), Luther clarifies that Faith is the primary medium before God and humanity—by believing the “Good News,” and Works are the primary medium by which we must relate to one another – blind receive sight, lepers are cleansed, etc.

Luther writes: “[Christ] here teaches us to use our works to good purpose and shows us which are good works. With the exception of faith, we should direct all our works to our neighbor; for God requires us to do no other work for Him except to believe through Christ. This satisfies God [the Father], thereby we give Him His honor that He is gracious, merciful, wise, good, truthful, and the like. Thereafter think of nothing more than doing to your neighbor as Christ has done to you, and let all your works with your entire life be directed to your neighbor.”

Sometimes I think we find it difficult to feel the completeness of our salvation in Christ, because we are asked to do much for him by serving in the church or doing some good deed or baking a cake for someone else’s party – not our own! And so we place a great deal of emphasis, and guilt on our ability or inability to ever do enough for others, and so we feel inadequate and guilty much of the time when we should be filled with joy and gratitude at all that God has done for us. All that is required of us is to believe in the Gospel – that Christ died for our sins. Everything else should come as a free-flowing, joy-filled response to this incredible proclamation. Enjoy the faith! Act out your joy in ways inspired in you -- by the Holy Spirit – these are the works of Proclamation (because I’m so thankful – I want to share that I know and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and acts of service or charity, because I know the Love of God at work in my life – I want to share this gift with you – that you also may believe. Live the Faith Life—you will be blessed. PJ
Kenya MISSIONS, July 2011!

The Mission Team is actively praying that 2-4 additional Team members may come fourth from either near or far. I spoke to a man from Florida two days ago about a program called Glasses for Mission. This is a ministry of testing people’s eye sight, determining what vision prescription they need for reading and then custom making the eyeglasses for them. A kit has all that is needed to make the eyeglasses from lens to the wire frame, which is formed using a special jig for bending the wire. The kit costs less than $300 (including shipping) and will make up to 300 pairs of glasses! I’m hoping that our local Lions Club might like to finance this, but we shall see, and then we need someone to learn the system and be able to train a Kenyan when we get there – Lord please give this person a call! Present fund-raising events include the BBQ Chicken Dinner September 10th (three kinds of grilled chicken will be available)—along with delicious side dishes and an apple or cherry cobbler that was a hit last time.

 Admittedly, it feels like an uphill struggle to do another foreign mission during these hard times, but we are blessed more than we know and will be rewarded through this endeavor in ways unknown—God is faithful. Thanks in advance for all support or leads on potential missionaries.

 From Elias Church Sexton, Bob Hampson

We all need to be vigilant to be sure the Basement Door that opens to outside steps is closed tightly and latched. Since the Fire Marshall made us remove the dead-bolt, it is not latching unless it is firmly pulled or pushed shut. Please double check that it is latched if you are last one out of building. Also, please note our recycling boxes, Paper upstairs by Sunday School room and Aluminum and plastic bottles in box outside of men’s room in basement. Thanks to all, Bob