May 2020

Greetings once more in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ. May his grace and peace continue to be a spring flowing through you to the world!
I am writing this from home, in a room with large windows, looking on a half sunny morning. This is, by the way, after days of heavy rain. I’m not sure how much rain we got, but yesterday morning I looked out and I saw animals lining up two by two. Just sayin’. But along with the proverbial April showers will come May flowers. I am delighted to see our yard for our first spring, as it bumps out new shoots and bursts into color. I’ve just been able to keep the squirrels away from the bird feeder, so we are getting a beautiful collection of song birds to serenade us.
At this point in the ponderings, you may feel that something is missing. What? No remarks about Corona Virus? What am I, irresponsible? No, I’m just tired of hearing about it. Yes, it is serious. Yes, take precautions. Yes, keep doing what you are doing. Yes, there is a lot of finger pointing, hand wringing, false stories, and sniping. I’m tired of hearing about it. Satan is having a field day with people’s emotions.
Yesterday, however, I did hear some new chatter. The “church” web is all abuzz about how to reopen churches. Everybody has their two cents and needs you to know how bright, caring and insightful they are. You know what? We are not going to reopen Glossbrenner. We don’t need to be-cause we never closed. Our church has been strong and vibrant, just as we have been. I am delighted to serve a church that has so much love and energy and concern and compassion. Glossbrenner church is alive and well and growing. True, we haven’t been able to assemble in one place on Sunday mornings, and then there are all the meetings we so dearly miss. (No? Don’t miss the meetings?)
Institutions need to reboot. Businesses need to reopen. The church has had a mandate from God and no virus has changed that. We bend, we flex, but we do not close, so we don’t need to reopen. If this virus has got you wrapped around the axil, take a moment and just breathe. We, the church of Glossbrenner are just fine. God’s got this. Always has, always will. Don’t take your eyes off the mark. This is time for Christians to shine, not whimper. Joshua 1:9, “Be bold and courageous. Have I not commanded you?”
Carry on church! New adventures await. Lead on Jesus!

March 2020

Greetings in the name of our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. There’s a saying that goes: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” I can see that’s true in many things, except one for sure; I am getting older. That has not stayed the same. (Good and bad I suppose.)

As we move into the Season of Lent, some things will change simply because I don’t know the old way. A couple things are changing by intention, but I suspect most things will stay the same. New, I think, is that we are partnering with other Christian Churches in Mount Joy to deliver a noontime Wednesday Lenten meal and devotion. The details are in the newsletter, but if you get the noontime at Florin COB through March, you pretty well got it covered. There will continue to be the Wednesday Night Lenten Service at Glossbrenner, in the Chapel, at 6:30. I plan to deliver a mini-series. The whole service is only 45 minutes, so don’t fret about a long sermon. The Chili Cook-Off is in March again, so don’t give up chili for Lent! That would be bad. One new thing we’re doing is a Ministry Moment on each third Sunday. In March it is the Prison Ministry. Please look forward to that. The Hershey Bears Hockey game is the same event, different year. I hear we have a good size group going, so that should be fun! We might even do something different and slip in a movie night in March. Details to follow.

Overall, it seems that some things change, some stay the same. We have all the usual very energetic activities as we do every month, plus some special events just for March. Holy Week and Easter is just around the corner from there. It is exciting to be in a church that exhibits so much life and so much love. Keep up the good work folks! If you feel that you are on the outside looking in… jump right in, the water is fine! Hey. Instead of giving up something for Lent, why not add something; more involvement with your home church. We’ll leave the light on for you. And I pray that the more things change, that never changes! Happy March!

In His Service, Pastor Brian

February 2020

Once again, I greet you in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior. It continues to be an honor to serve him and to serve with you at Glossbrenner.
As we move into a new month, my mind wanders to the wintry weather that we will be “enjoying” for the next couple months. Despite years of shoveling and de-icing and car window scraping, I truly pray that you might have the mind of a child and wonder at the magnificent experience of frozen ice crystals drifting down to a frozen ground. It is still true, I believe, that no two flakes are exactly the same! What an amazing God! As it covers everything with winter wonder, the very earth changes be-fore our eyes. Tiny snow flakes that are light enough to stick to your eye-lash, can gang up and together bring big tree branches to the ground. Now, there is a life lesson in working together! Am I right? There is so much to marvel at in this season of the year. Please don’t let the winter blues get to you. We have reason to celebrate every day of our lives! Look at yourself in the mirror and put the biggest smile on your face that you can. (God will get a kick out of it too.) Wear bright colors! Call a friend! Write a note of encouragement to someone! Oh, and let me add, make sure you come to church!
The writer in Hebrews (10:24,25) said “Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one anoth-er”. You may be just the tonic someone needs on Sunday morning! And you know, they may be your happy pill.
In most American churches, attendance drops off after Christmas and doesn’t really come back until Easter. I am always encouraged when I serve churches that don’t show much of a drop. Let us continue meeting together, spurring one another on towards love and good deeds. We need each other. The world needs us! The Jesus joy we know should brighten up any room. The glow of the Holy Spirit fire should warm our hearts even through the coldest nights. So, my prayer for you is that God will bless you with unspeakable joy of Christmas, the heart of a child in love with the wonder of winter, and the glowing warmth of Christian love. With hearts on fire for God; “Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow.”
In His Service, Pastor Brian

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