Good News




474 Yalick Road - PO BOX 802

DALLAS, PA 18612


December 2014 / January 2015


Pastor                                       Rev. Charles H. Grube

Administrative Assistant                          Abby Aristeo

Director of Music/Organist, Sr. Choir,

Chime Choir Director                                Connie Wilt

Chapel & Emmanuel Choir Director            Jean Grube

Custodian                                                  Joan Cease

Sexton                                                James Madonna



       2015                        2016                         2017       

  Annie Bisher  *        Keith Brosious*           Alice Baer*

  Carol Fett              Ray Mancke*               Bill Peiffer*

  Brian Doran            Diane Gordon         Lisa Fetterman

  Steve Thompson     Rob Rolland            John Waschek

*Final Term



President                                  Rev. Charles H. Grube

Vice-President                                   Steve Thompson

Secretary                                              Keith Brosious

Treasurer                                                    Carol Fett



Christian Education                               Keith Brosious

Evangelism/Stewardship    Annie Bisher/Diane Gordon

Fellowship                                                  Carol Fett

Finance                                 Ray Mancke/Bill Peiffer/

                        Rob Rolland/John Waschek/Carol Fett

Head Start/Early Intervention                Diane Gordon

Landscaping                     Brian Doran/Lisa Fetterman

Long Range Planning          Ray Mancke/John Waschek

Parish Nurse/Health Ministry                Lisa Fetterman

Property                                  Brian Doran/Carol Fett

Salary Review           Lisa Fetterman/Steve Thompson

Social Ministry                                             Alice Baer

Staff Support                   Steve Thompson/Bill Peiffer

Worship & Music                        Alice Baer/Bill Peiffer




Sunday School Superintendent         Marjorie Marquart

Financial Secretary                                        Ruth Ide





   The next issue of the GOOD NEWS will be the February 2015 issue.  The deadline for all submissions

will be Noon on Sunday, January 18th.


Please remember that items for the Saturday and Sunday bulletins are due in the church office by Noon on Thursdays.






Please remember to ask permission from the person you are placing on the prayer list.


Pray for the Congregations of

Trinity, Towanda and St. John, Sayre in December and St. Luke, Archbald and Trinity, Clarks Summit in January.


Pray for Shut-In Members: Margrit Hislop, Bruni Bayer.


Pray for those suffering illness: 

 Members: Julia Crispell, Maryan Daily, Jean Franklin, Colin Grube, Hank Henry, Dolores Leehan,

Olivia Marquart, Vic McCarty, Cheryl Myers, Cathy Policare, John Reishus, Brian Stepniak, Tabitha Walters,

Betty Weaver, Bertha Williams, Justin Yost.


  Family & Friends: Veronica Bashaw, Amy Bush, Nicole Cadwalader, Martha Cease, Alicen Cheshire,

Shirley Corbett, Joy Daubert, Gladys Debesis, Nancy & Bob Decker, Susan Diedrickson, Scott Dietrich,

Kay Fairley, Margaret Fiore, Sarah Frace, Joe Galardi, Jim Grady, Ellen Greenberg, Lisa Hess, Emma Horensky,

Catherine Hughes, Audrey Jenkins, Mary Johnson, June Johnston, Mildred Kelly, Audrey Kocher,

Dan Kopen, Alicia Mack, Luana Maross, Rev. Albert Martin, Michelle Martin, Betty June Mathers,

Marilyn & Carl Matthews, Margaret McGiffin, Barbara Metcalf, Arlene O’Brien, Melissa Prokopchak,

Walter Roberts, Rodney Samson, Betty Schultz, Niki Cheskiewitz Shotwell, Larry Tenson, Sr. Ann Turnbach,

Joe Vereb, Gordon Wight, Sophie Willis, Bobby Zeigler, Lisa, and Julia (no last names given).


  Pray for military personnel: Brian Bayer, Katie Dale, Brian Rigez, Paul Rigez, Adrianne Rigez, Paul Hiller,

Andrew Hiller, David Dymond, William B. Phillips, Jerry Price, Phillip Miller, Matt Lipo, Joe Walsh, Robert Stevens,

Adam Wendoloski, Joshua Knobel, David Spangenberg, Lt. Commander 04 Shaun McAndrew, Cpl. Christopher Avery,

Major Cindy Ruckno, Major Kevin Andersen, Captain Frank J. Michael, Jr., Daniel Worthington, Michael Tanner,

Stanley Brudnicki, Charles Brudnicki, CDR Chris Petrock, Jason Reed, Ethan Jacobs, Pvt. Kevin Fritzges, Dustin Siperko,

John Feher, Aaron Coburn, Justin Thomas, Specialist Steven J. Martin, Private Esme Molina, Michael Hoffman,

Matthew Yurko, Don Zimmerman.





November 2014


- Secretary’s report was accepted as presented.

- Treasurer’s report was accepted as presented.







$   13,525.00

$   13,104.00


$   12,419.00

$   13,638.00


$   18,304.00

$   17,678.00


$   14,279.00

$   15,143.00


$   14,402.00

$   12,521.00


$   18,361.00

$   18,921.00


$   12,188.00

$   12,333.00


$   12,340.00

$   13,067.00


$   15,111.00

$   17,179.00


$   13,648.00

$   15,445.00








$ 144,577.00

$ 149,029.00


Budget Update: St. Paul's finances as of

October 2014:



 September 2014

    Year to Date*

 September 2013

    Year to Date*

Total Income*




   $  38,500.00

   $  32,173.00

Total Expenses




*General Fund - does not include Special Appeals or

     Designated Funds


Mortgage Retirement Phase III Campaign:

Total Pledged:

1/1/2014 to 12/31/2016:  $  84,204.99


Total Received to Date:                    $  25,808.00


Loan Obligation Balance:                  $375,154.89


Monthly Loan Payment:                   $    2,929.88





Worship & Music: World Day of Prayer - March 6, 2015; St. Paul’s 90th Anniversary - June 6/7, 2015. 

Discussion of changes to Funeral Guidelines continues.  Wedding Guidelines to also be reviewed for possible

revision.  Announcement to be placed in bulletin regarding the Sharing of Peace during flu season.  Discussion

of possible Blessing of the Animals service.  Thanksgiving Community Service to be held on 23 November at

Trinity Presbyterian at 4:00 pm.  Will recommend to Council that an additional octave of chimes be purchased.


Christian Ed.: Thanksgiving Lunch is scheduled for November 23 with the Sunday School providing all the food. 

Advent calendars have arrived and will be distributed during luncheon and at Sunday School.  Christmas program

will be held on Saturday, December 20 from 12:00 to 3:00 pm.  Youth groups will be putting together Operation

Christmas Child shoe boxes on November 22 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  November 9 will be Youth Sunday at the

11:00 am service.  Committee is seeking adult male in the congregation to assist with youth activities.  Applications

for trip to Tanzania in 2016 are now available.  Four boys from

St. Paul’s and one Argentinian boy will be attending the ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit, with Pastor and Jean Grube

acting as chaperones.  Spaghetti Dinner and Agape Concert are scheduled beginning at 5:30 pm on November 7. 

Halloween Trunk or Treat was well attended with students from the Head Start and Early Intervention classes and

their parents also attending.


Property: Playground signs have been installed.  Hunter Roofing will be returning to find the leak.  Door window

in Christian Ed is waiting for glass to be replaced. 


Social Ministry: Discussed collecting diaper coupons to send to the Montrose Women’s Resource Center as an ongoing

commitment to the Adopt-a-Family program.  Cell phones collected will be sent to Cell Phones for Soldiers, which sells

the phones in order to obtain international calling cards to give to soldiers overseas.  Meetings will be held on the first

Wednesday of the month at 9:00 am instead of 9:30.  Continuing to collect for hypothermia kits; in need of shirts,

underwear, thermal underwear, hats, scarves and gloves.


Head Start/Early Intervention: Will be meeting with them to discuss the winter heating costs.


Finance: Presented the 2015 Budget proposal.


Old Business: “Always Being Made New: the Campaign for the ELCA” will be encouraged for individual contributions

through information and envelopes.  Dorcas Society purchase and installation of carpeting for the Narthex was approved. 

Further discussion of 90th Anniversary celebration. 


New Business: Date for Annual Congregational Meeting is set for January 25, 2015.  Summerfest discussion including

leadership of various activities for the day.  Susquehanna County Initiative (Adopt-a-Family) has asked St. Paul’s to

donate a Christmas gift for a 9-year-old boy.




Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


Happy New Year!


  With the First Sunday in Advent, we begin a new church year, celebrating the cycle anew with special attention

this year to Mark’s gospel.  We begin by waiting and watching with anticipation for Jesus to come, celebrate his coming

as a baby born of Mary in Bethlehem, and observe the ways he is revealed to all people as the Son of God.  We re-root

ourselves in our baptismal identity as his disciples, enter into the paschal mystery of his passion, death and resurrection,

celebrate his gift of the Holy Spirit to us, and listen to stories of his life, teaching, and ministry, re-committing ourselves

to the mission he has given the church.


  Come to worship and join in the year-long drama.  See you there.

In our present Lord,







  The attentive watching and waiting we do during the season of Advent provides us with a good opportunity to

intentionally and expectantly spend time in prayer and the scriptures.  Again this year, we have joined with our

neighbors at St. Luke Reformation, Noxen, and Good Shepherd and St. John, Wilkes-Barre in producing a daily

devotional booklet for your reading and prayers at home.  The readings are from the daily lectionary in our worship

book (you can find them beginning on page 1132) and each day features a devotional reflection written by Marty

Everhart, Pr. Janell Wigen, or Pr. Grube.  Please take one for your family and make your Advent season a more

intentional time for watching and waiting by using it daily.  We also invite you to take advantage of an Advent

devotional series made available from Lutheran Congregational Services that features stories of service and the church’s

mission of love for the whole world.  A few copies of the booklet are available on the table in the Narthex, but you can

also access that devotional series at www.lutherancongregationalservices.org.






  A special schedule of services will help us celebrate the incarnation of God in Jesus, born of Mary, and the

Christmas season this month.  The intergenerational Christmas program sponsored by the Sunday School will be

Saturday, December 20, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.  This program involves all who attend – not just the children –

and will not be repeated as a presentation in worship on Sunday.  Our Christmas Eve services to celebrate the

Nativity of Our Lord will be at 7:00 pm, geared toward families, and 10:00 pm.  Both services are Holy Communion

with a candlelight service.  Sunday, December 28, we will celebrate the First Sunday of Christmas with our traditional

service of Lessons and Carols for Christmas, including Holy Communion, with one service at 9:30 am, and no Sunday

School.  Otherwise, all services continue at 8:30 and 11:00 am on Sunday, Sunday School at 9:45, and Saturday Holy

Communion service at 5:30 pm.






  This year, the Adopt-a-Family outreach program through the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Mission District has asked

our congregation to purchase a Christmas gift valued at $35-$50 for a 9-year-old boy.  The family member was

selected by the Women’s Resource Center in Susquehanna County.  This gift will be passed along on December 9

to the family through our Mission District.  Our congregation participates in the Adopt-a-Family program through

a $100 monetary commitment and occasional additional gifts.  There is a contribution box in the Narthex for all

who would like to give to this program until December 7.




  “Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.”

-- C.S. Lewis






  The holiday gift-giving season is fast approaching, and you need a fresh idea.


  Tired of giving the same old gifts?  Are you struggling to give a gift to someone who has “everything”? 

We can help!  ELCA has a program called “GOOD GIFTS”.  For varied monetary gifts you can support

people around the world.  For $10 you can buy chicks that will grow, lay eggs to use or to sell and keep

producing for a family in need.  Other examples include:

                        Buy a pig for $30

                        Buy a duck for $20

                        Buy mosquito netting for $10 to $250


  These gifts are given to honor your loved ones on any special occasion.  You may pick up a catalog (on the Narthex

table) for your own use or fill out one of the forms provided and we will assist in ordering your gift.  A gift

acknowledgement card will be sent to the recipient.


  If you have any questions, please contact Alice Baer (570-333-5407) or email her at baer@epix.net.






  The 37th Christmas Together Celebration will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Wilkes-Barre on

Christmas Day from 12:00 - 3:00 pm.  Everyone in the Wyoming Valley is welcome to join for a Christmas

dinner with all the trimmings and an afternoon of song and entertainment to celebrate the joy of the holiday. 

For many people, young and old, rich and poor, lonely and those whose joy is overflowing, this celebration is

the best part of Christmas.  Delivery is available.  Please contact the church at 570-824-2478 for more information.






  Albert, Karen, and Travis Cheskiewitz and Griffin Stone have a new address.  Mail will reach them at

            51 Poplar St.

            Dallas, PA   18612-9021


We wish them joy in their new surroundings!


  We remember Ted King, Brenda Kaiser’s father, who passed away on November 12.






  Has your address, telephone number, or email address changed recently?  The 2015 Church Directory will be

available soon, and we want to be sure we have you listed correctly.  Your email address will be held in confidence

in the church office.  While you’re thinking of it, please notify the church office (570-675-3859 or stpaul@epix.net)

of any changes to your household.




  “The earth has grown old with its burden of care, but at Christmas it always is young.”

-- Phillips Brooks






  ...for students at Penn State Wilkes-Barre Campus during finals week (St. Paul’s will be designated as a “Cookie

Church”)!  If you are willing to provide a dozen (or more) homemade cookies, please sign the sign-up sheet on the

table in the Narthex.  Cookies for Penn State should be brought to church Sunday December 7 by 11:00 am and

placed on the designated “cookie table” in the front foyer.  If you have any questions, please contact Carol Fett at

570-675-3144 or via email at cafett54@gmail.com.  Thank you for your student support!






  The Back Mountain Food Pantry has submitted its three month report, and St. Paul’s collected 421 lbs. of

donations during that time.  Thank you for your support!


  The Pantry is in need of the following types of items during the holiday season:

  cranberry sauce, stuffing mix, boxed dried potato mix, canned sweet potatoes, canned gravy, canned fruits and

vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, pasta, canned evaporated milk, hot chocolate mix, tea, canned hams, tuna fish,

peanut butter, jelly, Jell-O, pudding mix, cake mixes, canned frosting, cereal of all kinds, juice, and soup.


  These items represent an urgent need at the pantry.  Please remember to check the “use by” dates.  You may place

your donation in the shopping cart in the hallway just outside of the Social Hall.






  “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive.  He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the

power to love.  There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us.  When we discover this, we are

less prone to hate our enemies.”


 -- Martin Luther King Jr.






  The Social Ministry committee is requesting our

St. Paul’s bakers to provide a batch of cookies to be given to shut-ins and other members of our congregation

during the Advent/Christmas season.  Please deliver your cookies to the church by December 10.  If you are

willing to help pack and deliver the cookies, please come to the church kitchen on Friday, December 12 at 9:00 am. 

A Social Ministry sign-up sheet attached to the pink clipboard is on the table in the Narthex.  Thanks in advance for

your care and concern for others.






  Please be sure to use our correct mailing address when sending any correspondence to the church:


                  St. Paul’s Lutheran Church

                  PO Box 802

                  Dallas, PA   18612


  If the correspondence is of a financial nature -- Memorial Gift, Special Appeal Envelope, Offering Envelope, &c.,

please add Carol Fett, Treasurer to the address.  Your help will be greatly appreciated.





  The 2015 sign-up charts for Altar Flowers and Bulletin Sponsors have been posted on the table in the Narthex. 

You are encouraged to sign them with your choice of a weekend to sponsor flowers in memory or honor of loved

ones, or for some special occasion in your life; we ask that you take the flowers following the last service.  Flowers

are $25.00 per Sunday, payable to Dorcas.  Bulletins are $12.00, payable to St. Paul’s.  Checks may be placed directly

in the offering plate or in the treasurer’s mailbox.  FLOWER and BULLETIN charts are clearly marked -- please be

sure you are signing the correct one.






  Are you worried about passing on germs (or receiving them!) while passing the peace?  We are indeed in a period

of heightened illness, and the flu is ravaging many areas of the country.  So please use your best judgment.  The passing

of the peace is an important theological part of our liturgy that provides the opportunity to proclaim and hear the hope

and good news that Jesus is with us.  But HOW we transmit and receive this message is of secondary importance to the

message itself.  So, if you are uncomfortable at this time with the traditional act of shaking hands, then a simple wave

accompanied by the words “Peace be with you!” is more than sufficient.  In the same light, please do not be offended if

you extend your hand to someone who resists or refuses to take it.






  Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, a support group which provides an opportunity for grandparents to gather and

discuss common issues and concerns ranging from legal custody to educational concerns to general child rearing issues,

will now meet on the third Wednesday of each month, from 6:00 - 7:30 pm.  The January meeting will be on January 21.

 Child care is provided; please call the church office to register.




  A Sunday school teacher shared the parable of the prodigal son with his class, pointing out how resentful the older

son was when the father welcomed the wayward brother home with open arms and a party.

  Amid the celebration, the teacher emphasized, someone in the story failed to share in the joy.  “Can you tell me

who that was?” the teacher asked.

  Eagerly, a little girl raised her hand.  “I know, I know!” she exclaimed.  “The fatted calf!”






  Hi Everyone,

  Brrrrrr...Winter has come with a vengeance, at least at the time of this writing!  I wasn’t planning on doing

a topic on the cold yet but maybe we need it right now.  The Center for Disease Control has excellent information

on extreme weather, in this case COLD WEATHER.  Go to www.cdc.gov and type in “winter weather” in the

search spot.  Make sure to check out hypothermia and frostbite besides how to prepare for, in case you’re in catch-up

mode.  I’ve printed out CDC’s EXTREME COLD A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety on blue

paper for our Revolving Circular Library for your reading pleasure.  Also on blue paper you will find, from

the American Academy of Pediatrics, Winter Safety Tips or go to www.aap.org and type in “winter safety tips”. 

This also includes safety tips for winter sports.  If you would like a copy of either, please talk to Abby.


  Dining for Diabetes brochures are in the Narthex.  If you are interested in learning from Mary Ehret, she

needs the reservations ASAP.


  Just want to add – I hope you’ve received your flu shot and are washing your hands frequently.  The hand

sanitizer is in the Narthex of the church for your convenience.


In Love and Service,

Gail Ide, BSN RN

Your Parish Nurse Coordinator






  Offering envelopes for the new year are ready to be picked up in the Narthex.  Your help in taking your envelopes (or other family members’) will be greatly appreciated and will help us save on postage.  Please, if at all possible, do not use scotch tape to seal the envelopes, and be sure to use your envelopes for proper financial credit (loose checks in the offering plate may not be credited to your envelope number).  If you cannot find your offering box or if you would like to begin using envelopes, please contact Carol Fett at 570-675-3144 or via email at cafett54@gmail.com.






  Our congregation has been granted the opportunity to serve as a seminary internship site for the year

beginning the summer of 2015.  A seminary intern is typically a third year seminary student who spends a

year in a congregation learning to apply the biblical and theological knowledge learned in class to the

everyday life and ministry of a congregation.  They are introduced to every facet of a congregation’s

ministry and not limited to, for example, being a youth leader.  Interns come as students, nurtured and

guided by a congregational intern committee who meets monthly and supervised by the pastor in a weekly

supervisory session.  While their primary purpose is to learn as a student, their vision, experience, involvement,

and energy also serve the ministry of the congregation.


  We have been offered this opportunity because our Northeastern PA Synod has been working with Trinity

church in Towanda to establish an internship that features mission development in the Montrose area.  The

candidate for that internship from Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, is married to another internship

candidate, and his coming to Montrose and Towanda is dependent on her procuring a nearby internship site or

their separation for a year.  The cost for serving as an internship congregation covers a variety of expenses

including tuition, a stipend, housing, insurance, and assorted fees for various needs.  Because this would be a

shared housing arrangement split with the synod and Trinity, and because our intern is covered by insurance

other than the church’s plan for interns, our expenses would be a little less than the full cost, but would total

between $25,000 and $30,000 over the two calendar years of the internship.  The approval of our budget at

our annual meeting will be our final approval of the internship, but we hope our conversation, questions, and

concerns can begin now.  Our hope is that we can commit to this important ministry to the greater church and

to our own congregation’s ministry by pledging our support financially and spiritually.






  Since this newsletter is a combined December/January issue we’d like to remind you now that if you wish your

church financial statement to include all of your 2014 contributions please note the following IRS regulations:

                        For tax purposes, you must be sure your contributions are received no later than December 31. 

After that date, 2014 contributions received by St. Paul’s in 2015 may be credited to your 2014 financial statement

only if they are MAILED AND POSTMARKED IN 2014.

                        The Internal Revenue Service also states: “Taxpayers must receive their financial statement

acknowledgments BEFORE the date he/she files a tax return.  If the taxpayer does not have the acknowledgment

by then, the taxpayer cannot claim a charitable deduction.”


  General Fund and Mortgage Retirement contribution statements will be mailed early in January.  Please review

your statement quickly and refer any and all questions directly to Ruth Ide or Carol Fett since all 2014 envelopes

will be disposed of after six months.




  “If God were small enough to be understood, he would not be big enough to be worshiped.”

-- Evelyn Underhill






All Aboard, Model Railroaders and Railfans!  A Model Railroad / Train Enthusiast Group is being formed at

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.  Whether you’re a serious hobbyist or just a casual train lover; whether your interest is in

freight or passenger, steam or diesel, commuter or intercity, heavy rail or light rail, standard or narrow gauge, G, O,

O27, S, HO, N, TT, or whatever; whether you are an expert or a novice, you are invited to join us for an organizational

meeting/planning session set for Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 7:00 pm.  All are welcome.  Bring along a friend!






  Mark your calendar now for the Annual Congregational Meeting to be held on Sunday, January 25 following the

11:00 am worship service.  This meeting is a requirement of our constitution and the purpose is to review the annual

 report and approve the 2015 proposed budget for funding the ministries of St. Paul’s.  This meeting will also provide

you the opportunity to learn about the plans for having a seminary intern starting in September 2015 for a one-year

time period, and answer any questions and/or receive comments by members of the congregation.  A covered dish

dinner will precede the meeting which is expected to begin at 1:00 pm.  Please bring a covered dish to share; place

settings and beverages will be provided; babysitting for families with young children will be available.  If you have an

item to place on the agenda, please call Steve Thompson at 570-675-3160 before January 6.






  What does the church unleashed look like?  When Bishop Zeiser was re-elected for his second term last spring

on the first ecclesiastical ballot – a very rare feat and resounding endorsement of his leadership – he announced

that he understood that re-election as an unleashing.  This year’s synod assembly, May 29-30 in Reading, is in the

process of being planned by a team of creative and visioning leaders who have come to call this the “UN-Assembly”. 

Do you have visions of what our congregational life would look like unleashed?  Are you someone who loves that

you have a place to live out your faith?  Share your ideas with Pastor and please consider being a voting member

of the Northeastern PA Synod assembly this coming May.




  “We don’t stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing.”

-- attributed to George Bernard Shaw





  Curtis and Katie Kline are new ELCA missionaries in Colombia.  In the ELCA “Stories from the Global Church”

blog for November 11, they shared reflections on their new experience in Bogota.  Getting settled into our new

home, our new country, and our new lives has been an experience of wonder, excitement, struggle and growth.  

We are moved into our own apartment in Bogota, thankfully, very close to the office.  Curtis is getting settled into

his new job, learning the goals and abilities of the church in Colombia to promote and protect human rights and to

build peace in the country, as well as the ways in which he can contribute… Katie is working hard to learn Spanish

and to formalize her work, which will be with the women and youth ministries of Colombia.”  You can read more

of their story at: http://www.elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/456.  Their apartment is in the area

of the city visited last year by Pastor Grube as one of the synod’s liaison to the ELCA Global Mission Latin America

Consultation.  Imagine moving to a new culture, new language, new city for the sake of ministry to others.  Our

ELCA Global Mission missionaries are special people.  Thank you for your support of them, especially our own

Krystle Moraska and her husband, Ignacio Madrussan in Buenos Aires, Argentina.






The Dentist’s Hymn

            “Crown Him with Many Crowns”

The Weatherman’s Hymn

            “There Shall Be Showers of Blessings”

The Contractor’s Hymn

            “The Church is One Foundation”

The Tailor’s Hymn

            “Holy, Holy, Holy”


(from Gail Ide via email, 11/12/14)






  Even amid increased secularization, God makes the core Christmas message known.  Take, for example,

the story of a “winter pageant” a mother attended at her son’s grade school.  Songs of reindeer, snow and

Santa included one titled “Christmas Love,” in which the youngest performers held up letters as the song

progressed: “C,” “H,”, &c.


  When a little girl unknowingly held her “M” upside down, the older kids snickered and the adult audience

smiled acceptingly.  But as the song drew to a close and all the letters were revealed, surprised recognition

struck the Christians in the room.


  “CHRISTWAS LOVE,” read the string of student-borne letters.  God’s truth had penetrated the human

clutter and confusion around Christmas -- as it has power to do throughout our lives: “Christ was love.” 

And of course, he still is.






  The ELCA is active around the world to help people in need in a wide variety of ways.  “Our hearts have

 broken as we have heard stories of the spread of the [ebola] disease,” said ELCA Northern Texas – Northern

Louisiana Synod Bishop Kevin Kanouse.  In response, the synod has raised more than $85,000 to provide aid

to the synod’s companion church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sierra Leone.  Meanwhile a new group

of Young Adults in Global Mission have arrived and begun their service in Jerusalem.  And Drs. Stephen and

Jodi Swanson have begun their service as medical missionaries, providing medical care to children in Tanzania.  

These stories and many more are featured in the December ELCA Global Links newsletter.




  “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

-- Charlie Chaplin




  “Happily for us, the fundamental Christian message concerns not what we ought to do but what God has

done and what God is willing to do.  In fellowship with him and with others who are likewise trying to be

like him, we can be lifted up above our native possibilities.”

-- Hugh Martin






To the good people of St. Paul’s:


  Please accept our heartfelt thanks for all your prayers at this sad time.


Liz Protchko, Tama Schmidt,

Chris Protchko, and Scott Protchko




  An atheist complained to a Christian friend, “You Christians have your special holidays, such as Christmas and

Easter.  Jews celebrate their national holidays, such as Passover and Yom Kippur.  But we atheists have no

recognized national holidays.  It’s unfair discrimination.”

  His friend replied, “Why don’t you celebrate April first?”




  “What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.”

-- Vern McLellan







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