October 1, 2015
 What Would Luther Tweet?


Give Reformation Sunday a new twist this year and celebrate Social Media Sunday, too! The great reformer Martin Luther harnessed new technology of his day to help make the good news of Jesus Christ more accessible, thanks to the printing press. Now we can use social media to do the exact same thing almost 500 years  later.


Social Media Sunday was started by Carolyn Clement at Trinity Episcopal Church in Tariffville, CT in June 2013. Clement’s goal was to encourage social media use by churches not yet using social networking platforms, to boost social media participation with churches already using social networking platforms, and to demonstrate the power of social media to be and do church within – and beyond – the building, as well as in between times of gathering for formal worship. In short, it’s all about using new technology to spread the the good news.


This year #SMS15 is an ecumenical effort scheduled for October 25. Everyone is welcome to participate. For Lutherans, this is especially timely, because it’s Reformation Sunday, and we are people who are always re-forming. “Here we tweet; we can do no other.” Plus, considering that 41% of people say they use a mobile device to connect to their faith or inspiration, we had better be reaching out into cyberspace.


Want to learn more about how your congregation can celebrate Social Media Sunday this year, visit our synod’s website and come to next week’s T.E.D. Talk on Thursday, October 8, where you’ll learn how to maximize Facebook, Twitter, and your website as Ministry Tools.


AND THEN, once you’ve opened the door through Social Media Sunday, bring congregational leaders to a FREE workshop that will help you take your digital ministry to the next level. Zion Lutheran Church, York, and the Lower Susquehanna Synod Center for Faith Formation are partnering to offer this workshop inspired by your requests and Pastor Keith Anderson’s new resource, The Digital Cathedral:  Networked Ministry in a Wireless World.  Click here to reserve your place. No walk-in registrations will be accepted.

Worship News

Worship is the heart of what we do as Lower Susquehanna Lutherans. Check out these opportunities and resources! Have a worship resource or liturgy to share? Contact Pr. Sharron Blezard at 717-652-1852, ext. 102 or sblezard@lss-elca.org.


Saturday “Liturgy of Peace and Unity” Begins at Mt. Zion, York,

Beginning Saturday, October 17, and continuing on the third Saturday of each month, the church will offer a new worship service that includes a “Liturgy of Peace and Unity.” The Rev. Brian McClinton, the church’s pastor, has composed and arranged a liturgy in response to the many social issues that have divided the nation in recent years. Using musical forms from various cultures, Pastor McClinton said he was able to “shape an original liturgy to illustrate the unity available through Christ Jesus.” The congregation will learn the liturgy beginning at 3:30 p.m., followed by the worship service at 4:00. All are welcome to worship and experience this new liturgy. The church is located at 2164 Mt. Zion Road in York. Additional information can be obtained by calling the church office at 717-757-7626.


Mt. Zion also offers a service of “Healing and Meditation” the first Saturday of each month at 4:00 p.m. The service is designed “to offer a moment of prayer and meditation to those who feel pain and sorrow in their personal life or in the lives of family and friends,” said Pastor McClinton.

Noting that many persons in the community and beyond face various difficulties, McClinton said this special service “offers time for healing and an opportunity to address any spiritual concerns through personal prayer.” Both services include Holy Communion for those who wish to participate.


Meditation & Mediterranean Offered at Grace Lutheran, Two Taverns

Pastor John Largen and the congregation of Grace offer a Taize Eucharist on the first and third Sundays of the month (September – December and February – May) at 7:00 p.m., followed by a gathering at Olivia’s (Mediterranean) Restaurant next door. The church is located on the Baltimore Pike between Gettysburg and Littlestown.


Need a Recipe for Gluten-Free Communion Wafers?

Ruth Hoffer, a member of Zion Lutheran Church, Hummelstown, shares a recipe for gluten-free communion wafers that’s easy to make at home, cost-effective, and better-tasting than most commercially packaged gluten-free wafers. Click here to download recipe as a pdf file. Thank you, Ruth, for sharing your recipe! (Note: Your C&S editor has sampled these wafers and gives them a definite thumbs-up!)

You are Cordially Invited . . .

Sunday, October 4

10:45 a.m.

Installation of the Rev. Andrew Geib, who is called to serve as Associate Pastor at St. James. A celebration will take place at 9:15 a.m. between worship services.

Sunday, October 25

3:00 p.m.

Installation of Associate in Ministry Micki Kautz, who has been called to serve on the staff of Faith United Parish, primarily working with St. John’s and St. Michael (Rossville).

St. John’s Lutheran Church, 151 Clearview Rd., Dillsburg. The color of the day is red.

Agape & Rachel Kurtz in Concert this Weekend


This Sunday, October 4, Rachel Kurtz & Agape (David Scherer) will appear in concert with spoken word artist Joe Davis, as a part of the Rise Up Together Tour! Groups or individuals who would like to participate have TWO options to see the tour in our synod. Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m., the tour stops at St. Matthew, York. Proceeds benefit the ELCA World Hunger Walk for Water. To register, visit http://www.stmatt.org, or call 717-845-2721. Tickets are available at the door, but advance registration is preferred.


If you can’t join us at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, Trinity, Chambersburg, will also host Rachel, Agape and Joe Davis, who will share their music in worship on Oct. 4 at 9:00 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. A hymn-sing will be offered at 10:15 a.m., with a free-will offering taken for the Walk for Water initiative. Sunday’s concert and worship are easy ways to bring youth, young adults or all ages together for a day of sharing music and helping others.

Leadership Link of the Week


Our synod grows stronger because its dedicated leaders continue to learn new ways of approaching ministry and serving God’s people. Check here each week for a link to a video, article, podcast, powerpoint presentation or other media that will help our leaders embrace new ideas and learn new insights into ministry. (Photo: Chris Carter, Creative Commons)


10 Tips to Help Leaders Boost their Twitter Presence

Social Media Sunday is at the end of this month. Are you on Twitter yet? While many clergy and other rostered leaders have taken to Facebook in the past decade, fewer venture onto other social media sites, especially Twitter. Many join, only to become frustrated in getting the hang of it, and then they quit. That’s a shame, says Diva Morgan Hicks, online communications manager at the Forum for Theological Exploration.  If they stay with it, the social media will become easier and they will find that Twitter assists them in their ministry. Here, from the Lilly Endowment’s Insights into Religion website, are 10 tips.


Oct. 8 TED Talk:

Maximizing Facebook, Twitter, and Your Website as Ministry Tools

Get ready for “Social Ministry Sunday” on Oct. 25 by learning how a congregational website, Twitter presence, and Facebook page can serve as powerful ministry tools to help God’s people deepen their church involvement and grow in discipleship.
The Oct. 8 TED Talk (Theology, Evangelism and Discipleship) will cover the basics of how to set up and use a congregational website and Facebook page, how to set up a Twitter account, and also delve more deeply into more creative and sophisticated applications. See what a good website can do. The talk would be most helpful for those whose congregations have a basic website or Facebook page and would like to take them to the next level. The leader is the Rev. Rob Blezard, assistant to the bishop.
The TED Talk takes place from 10 a.m. – Noon on Oct. 8 in the lunchroom of the United Church Center (where our synod office is located), 900 S. Arlington Ave., Harrisburg. Bring a lunch and we can share a fellowship meal and talk afterwards.
In order that we have enough resources to go around, please RSVP to Cathy Deitrich at the synod offices, cdeitrich@lss-elca.org.

Prayers and Updates 


Our synod prayer list is updated frequently and posted on the website. To be redirected to the complete prayer list click here.


…prayers for healing and hope for Pastor George Martz, UCC pastor and colleague in ministry who has served as interim or stated supply for several of our Perry Conference congregations.

…prayers of thanksgiving for the safe arrival in this world of Jackson William MacConnell, grandson of Bishop Jim Dunlop and Connie Dunlop, and son of Kelly and Reed MacConnell. Jackson was born September 29.

…prayers of thanksgiving for the safe arrival in this world of  Sophia Romaine Ramsey, daughter of Chaplain Laura Ramsey (Womens and Babies Hospital of Lancaster) and her husband Jesse. Sophia was born September 19.

…prayers of joy and thanksgiving for Pastor Ben Siebert (Trinity, Arendtsville) and Diaconal Minister Kristin Vought (Lutheran World Relief, rostered in DE-MD Synod), who were married August 14.

…prayers for the victims, their families and friends, and the entire community that grieves in the wake of the Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon. According to one list released, this marks the 142nd school shooting since Sandy Hook. Lord, have mercy.


Check out ELCA Prayer Ventures by clicking here and download daily prayer petitions each month.

Have a prayer request to share with others in our synod? Please contact Pr. Sharron Blezard at sblezard@lss-elca.org.

Give + Receive + Share = News to Use from our Synod Office


CLICK TO GIVE: It’s Easier Than Ever to Make a Difference with your Mission Support!

It’s easier than ever to make a gift to support the mission of our Lower Susquehanna Synod. All you have to do is visit our website (www.lss-elca.org) and click the “Donate Now” button on the bottom right side. It will take you to our secure donation site (the same one that hosts Thrivent’s Simply Giving) so that you can easily support our work together. Make a one-time gift or set up a regular giving schedule.


LWR Ingathering 2015

It’s time once again for the annual Lutheran World Relief Ingathering. You can access a congregational packet by clicking here. You can also visit the Lower Susquehanna Synod Website Ingathering page by clicking here. Have any questions? Contact Norma R. Good, Lower Susquehanna Synod Volunteer Coordinator for Relief Projects at nrgood@comcast.net or 717-399-7697.


Check the Synod Calendar on our website for a complete listing of meetings and gatherings. Inclement weather closings of our office are announced on the answering machine (ext. 100) and our Facebook page.

Opportunities for Education… 

Visit our synod website for specific details and registration information about each event!


to be redirected to our website for detailed information about upcoming events.


October 5-7

Celebration of Biblical Preaching: The Courage to Preach

Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN

October 13-14

Parish Secretaries’ Seminar: “Checks & Balances”

Bird-in-Hand Family Inn, Bird-in-Hand, PA

October 23

Healing Communities Training (sponsored by the PA Council of Churches and Lancaster County Reentry Management Organization)

Red Lion Inn, Harrisburg. Click here for more information.

October 23-24

Safe & Healthy Churches Training: Ending Family Violence (facilitated by FaithTrust Institute)

DoubleTree Philadelphia – Valley Forge, King of Prussia. Click here for more information.

October 23-26

“Lord, Let Our Eyes Be Opened: Breaking the Chains of Mass Incarceration,” sponsored by the Pennsylvania Council of Churches, Red Lion Hotel, Harrisburg. Visit http://pachurches.org/ for more information.

October 24

Congregational Treasurer Seminar, LSS Resource Center, 900 S. Arlington Ave., Harrisburg

October 26-29

Fall Academy and Luther Colloquy: !Reforming with the Holy Spirit!, Gettysburg Seminary, 61 Seminary Ridge, Gettysburg. Visit www.ltsg.edu for more information.

November 1

Luther Rose Lecture “Martin Luther: Then & Now” with the Rev. Dr. Richard Carlson

Palm Lutheran Church, 11 W. Cherry St., Palmyra

November 2

The Mission of God in an Intercultural and Interreligious World: Lutheran-Anglican-Roman-Catholic (LARC) Day of Dialogue with the Rev. Dr. Robert S. Heaney

Cardinal Keeler Center, 4800 Union Deposit Rd., Harrisburg

January 11-15

Executive Skills for Pastors, Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center, Carefree, AZ, Visit http://spiritinthedesert.org for more information.

January 31 – February 2

LSS Rostered Leaders’ Wellness Retreat

Hotel Hershey, 100 Hotel Rd., Hershey, PA Click here to register.

April 14-17

“White Privilege Conference: Understanding, Respecting, & Connecting”

Philadelphia, PA (Hold the date and click here for information)

April 15-17

The Weekend

Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary. Click here for more information.

Boundary Training for Rostered Leaders and Ministry Employees

If you missed the Boundary Training for rostered leaders and ministry professionals, you have ONE remaining opportunity in 2015. It is essential that all rostered leaders complete an approved boundary training course every three years. Other ministry professionals (youth workers, choir directors, music directors, and others in related ministry fields) are encouraged to attend.


You will receive six hours of continuing education credit for attendance. Lunch is provided at a suggested free-will offering of $7.  (NOTE: The initial trainings in 2015 were offered free of charge to ensure all ministry leaders had opportunity to bring their files up to date. Beginning in 2016, future boundary training events will carry a nominal registration charge of $25.)

Call Cathy Deitrich at 717-652-1852, ext. 104, or email her at cdeitrich@lss-elca.org to register.


Monday, October 5, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. CANCELLED (due to lack of registrations)

Friday, November 6, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Epiphany Lutheran Church, 1100 Colonial Rd., Harrisburg (Registration closes Monday, Oct. 30).


Mark-ing” Scripture Together at the Wittel Farm in Elizabethtown, PA

This fall, Bishop Dunlop and Pastor Rob Myallis invite rostered leaders, worship planners, and faith formation leaders to gain insights, share ideas as we explore Mark’s gospel together. All three sessions will be offered at the Wittel Farm from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

October 19 – “Mark-ing the Festivals” Led by Pastor Rob Myallis

November 16 – “Mark-ing Advent” Led by Pastor Rob Myallis.

Click here to register.


Be sure to check the Center for Faith Formation webpage for information about upcoming events and links for registration.  Click here to be redirected.


Visit the Congregation Connections page on our synod’s website to keep up with the specific details (including event times, contact information, publications, and registration information) of the many good things happening in the worshiping communities of our synod. (Click the blue hotlink at the beginning of this paragraph to be redirected.)


Please keep us posted about what’s happening in your congregation and community. We are able to post photos, pdf documents and flyers, and contact information on our Congregation Connections page. E-mail event information to sblezard@lss-elca.org.


October 1-3

Annual Yard Sale, Centerville Lutheran Church, 1874 Walnut Bottom Rd., Newville

October 2

Tree4Hope Golf Scramble, (fundraiser for Hope Academy, Girls’ School in Guatemala), Colonial Golf and Tennis Club, Harrisburg

October 3

2nd Annual Golf Scramble and Dinner (to support LSS LT Camp), Deer Valley Golf Course

October 4

Rachel Kurtz, Agape, and Joe Davis Rise Up! Worship and Hymn Sing, Trinity Lutheran Church, 26 W. Commerce St., Chambersburg

Walk 4 Water, Trindle Spring Lutheran Church, 14 State Rd., Mechanicsburg

Blessing of the Animals, Newville Community Park (hosted by Big Spring United Lutheran Church), Newville

Blessing of the Animals, Emmanual Lutheran Church, 2 Water St., Franklintown (Rain Date: October 11)

Rise Up Together: The Tour (featuring Rachel Kurtz, Agape, and Joe Davis), St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 839 W. Market St., York

Rejoicing Spirits Worship (a disABILITIES ministry), St. Luke Lutheran Church, 2695 Luther Dr., Chambersburg

Tromba Mundi in Concert, Trinity Lutheran Church, 2000 Chestnut St., Camp Hill

Lost and Found: The Farewell Tour, Trinity Lutheran Church, 108 South Robeson St., Robesonia

Rise Up Together: The Tour (featuring Rachel Kurtz, Agape, and Joe Davis), Evangelical Lutheran Church, Frederick, MD

October 6-8

Book Study Retreat at Camp Nawakwa. Click here for more information.

October 10

64th Annual Apple Butter Boil (Rain or Shine!), Barner’s Church Grove, 5 Barner Rd., Liverpool

Pet Blessing, St. Mark Lutheran Church, 129 Charles St., Hanover

A Musical Evening

(to benefit the Dillsburg Library), Christ Lutheran Church, Filey’s, 15 S. Filey’s Rd., Dillsburg

October 11

Rejoicing Spirits Worship (a disABILITIES ministry), St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 30 W. Main St., New Kingstown

“Music at Grace” with organist, Dr. Robert Horton, in Concert, Grace Lutheran Church, 517 N. Queen St., Lancaster

CROP Hunger Walk, St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Ott & Walnut Sts., Allentown, PA

October 15

Lifesaver Concert, Tree of Life Lutheran Church, 1492 Linglestown Rd., Harrisburg

October 17

45th Annual Apple Festival, St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 30 W. Main St., New Kingstown


Fall Foliage Day at Camp Nawakwa and Camp Kirchenwald

October 25

250th Anniversary Concert: Jesus Christ our Cornerstone, First Lutheran Church, 21 South Bedford St., Carlisle

October 26

“Preparing for Family Transitions – Event & Gourmet Supper,” Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 750 Greenfield Rd., Lancaster

November 7

“Looking to the Future: Aging and Estate Planning,”

Zion Lutheran Church of Union Deposit, 5 W. Main St., Hershey (co-sponsored by Zion and St. John’s, Hoernerstown, Lutheran Churches)

Sorensen in Concert at the Grove Community Coffee House, Salem Lutheran Church, 99 York Rd., Jacobus

November 14

“War Trauma: Impact and New Life,” Windy Hill Building, 1472 Roth’s Church Rd., Spring Grove

November 21

Chambersburg Conference Meal-Packing Event, Solomon’s Lutheran Church, 4856 Wayne Rd., Chambersburg

December 19

Star Wars Episode VII Private Showing (benefits the Hammer family’s year in the Konde Diocese/tickets must be preordered), Penn Cinema, Lititz


To Share: 

Need hymnals, tables, Bibles, an organ, or choir robes? Check the Congregation Connections page of our Synod’s website for a list of offerings by congregations who are willing to share what they no longer need. Have something to share with others? Let us know!

New this week: Hand Bell Table with pads and Hammond organ


Employment listings are provided to synod congregations and related agencies free of charge. This service is made possible by your Mission Support of Lower Susquehanna Synod and ELCA.  Please provide a brief position description, contact information, and a link to a complete position description on your web site (if desired).  Send information to Sharron Blezard at sblezard@lss-elca.org. Positions are posted for 60 days unless extended.


Visit the Employment Opportunities page on our website for a complete list of current job openings with more details (including jobs that have been extended).


Congregation: St. Peter Lutheran Church, York

Position: Part-time Music Director (Posted 9/16/15)

Organization: Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL)

Position: Communication Coordinator (Posted 8/26/15)

Congregation: Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Harrisburg

Position: Part-time Administrative Assistant (Posted 8/26/15)

Congregation: Zion Lutheran Church, Marietta

Position: Part-time Organist (Posted 8/26/15)

Carings and Sharings is the e-newsletter of the Lower Susquehanna Synod. Its purpose is the sharing of news and events which raise up the mission and ministry of the synod and ELCA in our congregations, our synod, and the broader church. It is not intended to be an endorsement of every activity. Comments about this newsletter may be sent to Sharron Blezard, editor,  sblezard@lss-elca.org.
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