Did You Know?

“Did You Know?”

is a series of informational pieces
about St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Check back here each month for a new article.

Scroll down to read the articles.

September: Historical Treasurers
June: Narthex
May: Kate Kauffman
April: Christ Candle

Did You Know?

St. John’s has a many historical treasurers!

Did you know there are many historical treasures located in our church?  Recently an assessment of historical documents and other church records was completed.  In completing the assessment a log of documents and artifacts was created.  Many of these documents are over 100 years old.  What a wonderful collection of our church and membership history.

The following are excerpts from this document.

  • 1792  Pay Request for work done (This was the oldest document found)
  • 1807  Hamburg Church Lottery Ledger
    • This ledger contains the names of people who bought lottery tickets to support the church. $3,000 was allowed to be collected.
  • 1840 Church Constitution
    • The most precious document is from 1840 and is believed to be the first recorded constitution of The United Evangelical Lutheran and Evangelical Reformed church. It is written in German. 
  • 1853  Cemetery Log
    • Names, dates, and plot locations.
  • 1868-1993 Clergy Records
    • Pastoral letters, pamphlets, reports, and other documents related to memberships, births, deaths, marriages, Communion, Confirmation and transfers.
  • 1898 Cornerstone Laying Program
    • After the fire in April 1898 the Cornerstone for the new church was put in place.
  • 1898 Church Constitution and By Laws
  • 1885-1944      Bibles
    • Bible with text in German (no date), Large Locking Bible
  • 1899  Consecration Program
    • May 1899 The Church was consecrated
  • 1800–1900s    Transfer letters and documents
  • 1857-1983      Financial Ledgers
  • 1884-2001      Council Reports
  • 1898–1969      Luther League Logs
  • 1899, 1916-1917  Children of the Temple History
  • 1913-1928, 1934-1937  Children of the Temple Logs
  • 1907-1990      Bulletins/Programs from various Events
  • 1919-2014      Memorial Documents and letters
  • 1923-1930      Women’s Ministry Logs

Did You Know?

The Narthex is full of opportunities that fetch BIG rewards.
Did you know that the Narthex is an antechamber in a modern church?  The Narthex in St. John’s is located at the back left entrance of the church and you will pass through it as you enter the church. 
Box Tops for Education help The Navajo Indian Mission.
Did you know that our church collects boxtops that support The Navajo Indian Mission?  The boxtops that we collect are sent directly to the Navajo Indian Mission and the Mission uses the proceeds from the box tops for supplies in the school and also for transportation expenses.
To participate in this outreach please follow these simple guidelines:
◊ General Mills Box Tops for Education logos on more than 100 different General Mills products and are about 1” long .

Bring in those box tops and place them in
the collection box located in Narthex cupboard.
The cupboard and collection box are labeled
 Box Tops For Education.
If you have any questions regarding this outreach activity
please contact Jean Epting.

Redner’s receipts give St. John’s money used to offset the general budget.
Did you know that every time you shop at Redner’s and use your Redner’s Pump Perks card you could help decrease St. John’s general budget?  St. John’s collects all Redner’s receipts where the Pump Perks card is used and that have “Save A Tape” on the receipts.   These receipts are taken to Redner’s and they in turn give 1% of the sales to our church. 

What an easy way to help support the church!
Save your receipts, bring them to church and place them in
the collection box located in the Narthex cupboard.
The cupboard and collection box are labeled Radner’s Receipts.
Note: The receipt must have “Safe the Tape” on them in order to qualify for this program.
If you have any questions regarding this program please contact Kay Hagenberger.

Safe Berks
Did you know that St. John’s collects hotel size shampoo, conditioner, and lotion bottles? These toiletry items are taken to the Berks Country Women in Crisis Center.  Berks Women in Crisis provides a safe haven and ongoing support system for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  Some of these women come to the center with nothing and these toiletries provide just a little bit of comfort in their time of need. 

These donations are greatly appreciated!
When you are traveling consider collecting those toiletries items.
The collection box is located in the Narthex cupboard.
The cupboard and collection box are labeled Toiletry Items.
If you have any questions regarding this program please contact Kay Hagenberger.

Did You Know?

Kate Kauffman Assistant Organist and Jr. Choir Director
Every Sunday morning from September into May, Sunday School, for children age 2 thru sixth grade, begins with a very special time of gathering, “The Opener”, led by Ms. Kate Kauffman, Assistant Organist and Jr. Choir Director?  She enters the Sunday School Room at 9:00 AM after her rehearsal with the Junior Choir from 8:30-9:00am, to lead the “Opener” for Sunday School.  Ms. Kate always greets the children and teachers with a big smile and a lot of enthusiasm as she sits down at the piano and gets her music together.

No matter what the children are doing, at 9:00am, they grab a chair and sit in front of the piano to praise God with their lovely voices, led by Ms. Kate.  She always has at least one song she is going to practice that will be sung by the children and lead by her at the Youth Service or at special services throughout the year.  She picks these songs to match the season or event happening in church that Sunday.  The songs present messages, in a lively manner, to get the children involved and to help them better understand the biblical story or event.  But there are other fun songs they will sing too; Rise and Shine (Arky, Ark), “Jesus Loves Me” and one of their favorites, “I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N”, which is a tongue twister in the best way. It is amazing to watch Ms. Kates’ fingers fly as she plays this song faster and faster.

An Offering is taken and Ms. Kate chooses a child to do the collection while the children sing “Pass it on” and then “Bless these gifts dear Father”.   Birthdays are celebrated during this time too and Ms. Kate plays Happy Birthday while the children sing along.   It makes the child’s Birthday extra special.

The Opener ends when Ms. Kate leads the children in praying the Our Father.  Everyone stands, bows their heads and prays together this very special prayer.  The entire Opener only takes about fifteen minutes but it sets the mood for the rest of the Sunday School session.  Ms. Kate is beloved by all the children and Sunday School Teachers.  She is an essential part of St. John’s Sunday School program.  

Did You Know?

Christ Candle
The Christ Candle is traditionally lighted on Easter Sunday and every Sunday thereafter until Pentecost [some churches leave the Candle lighted until Ascension].  It is sometimes called the Paschal Candle, which is the Hebrew word for Passover. In the New Testament, “Passover” means passing over from death to life via the Resurrection of Jesus.

The lighted candle symbolizes Jesus’ ushering in the time of salvation for His people. Many churches light the Christ/Paschal Candle at church-held funerals. The Candle is placed at the head of the coffin during the service because at baptism the sign of the cross is made on the child’s forehead. If an urn is used for cremation the Candle is placed beside the urn.

The largest Christ/Paschal Candle known resided in Salisbury Cathedral in England. It was 36 feet tall and made from 300lbs of wax.  Normal Paschal Candles are about 3 to 4 feet in height and contain the following symbols; cross, 5 nails with incense imbedded in the center for the nails, alpha and omega symbols and the calendar year. Our Candle, used in the advent wreath at Christmas, is shorter and remembers Christ’s birth, Resurrection and the spread of the Gospel at Pentecost.