St John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
God's work. Our hands.

Pastor's Page January 2023

Using the Gifts of a Changing World

How Does the Church Deal with Today?

Much of this meditation I shared in the January 2022 newsletter. Before our Congregation Assembly on January 8, 2023, I hope you will reflect/pray about how we minister to one another and the community in the years ahead.

Andrew Pettegree notes that “within fiveyears of penning the ninety-five theses, Luther was Europe’s most published author – ever.” Until Martin Luther came along most printers produced theological books for scholars to read - a minimal audience – and one reason they often went out of business.

“Luther created a new form of theologicalwriting that was lucid, accessible, and above allshort....Luther made the bold and radical decision to speak beyond an informed audience oftrained theologians and address the wider German public in their own language.” (not in Latin!) “Luther’s writings electrified Germany, but they also transformed the dynamics of the printing industry.” “Until 1517 Wittenberg had only one not very competent printing press. By the time of Luther’s death, the town’s production matched that of Germany’s mightiest cities. Over the 16th century as a whole, Wittenberg was Germany’s largest printing center.”

Andrew Pettegree notes that not only did Luther oversee the design – including pictures – of his books, but he used every communication technique available. In addition to the printing press, Luther used music, art, and, of course, the pulpit.

So, what change(s) or reforming may be necessary for St. John’s, Mohnton? Germans dominated this part of the country in the past, as did Lutheran congregations. The number attend- ing a service of worship (and Faith Formation aka Sunday School) was not a concern. That’s the past. The waves of German immigrants are over.

In our very different 21st century what other forms of communication might we need to consider, even in worship? In addition to what we are doing (God’s Work, Our Hands) are there other outreach ministries we need to explore that will help support our community? How do we care for each other? How do we maintain our buildings or do we seek smaller facilities?

To be Jesus' followers, we need to be wise and good stewards of resources. We need to consider how we work with other Lutheran communities of faith in this area to worship, declare God’s love and grace, and be God’s hands as we serve.

Pastor Wayne




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We are a part of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod and a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

CONTACT:

St John's Evangelical Lutheran Church

One Front Street Plaza
PO Box 5
Mohnton PA 19540

Office: 610-777-9985