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Tidings from Bethlehem, August 2023

Warm Summer Sun

Mark Twain

after Robert Richardson

Warm summer sun,

Shine kindly here,

Warm southern wind,

Blow softly here.

Green sod above,

Lie light, lie light.

Good night, dear heart,

Good night, good night.

This poem is in the public domain.

Dear friends in Christ, It feels like it happens every year, but it seems that summer is moving quickly. I thought for the newsletter this month, I’d share some highlights of our time with warm summer sun and warm summer wind. For our congregation, “summer” seems to start as we end the Sunday School program, celebrate Confirmation, and shift to our summer schedule of worship of 6:00 pm Saturday, 8:00 am Sunday, and the change: 9:30 am Sunday. This year, our elementary age Sunday School participants were sent out for a great summer with a gift of sunglasses and a card that reminded them “Your future is as bright as your faith.” I’m so thankful for all our teachers and volunteers and for our young ones who indeed have bright futures and firm foundations of faith. That firm foundation was demonstrated by our Confirmation class, 5 young people with gifts and talents to share with the church and the world. Summer has meant the gift of baptism frequently being seen and celebrated in our congregation. I for one get a huge smile on my face as I see the Holy Spirit so active in these beautiful moments. We’ve experienced summer with special events too! The Strawberry Festival is back! How wonderful it was to welcome the community for a great (and tasty!) event in Fellowship Hall. Our congregation was well represented at the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod Assembly. Congratulations to Barb Nugent on her reelection as Synod Vice President. We also introduced new summer programming, Summer Sessions at Bethlehem. There’s still time to join in on these relaxing evenings of fun and learning. Vacation Bible School was a success. Many thanks to all who volunteered and supported this great ministry. Summer is not over yet! As it continues, I pray you find some time to rest and relax as well amidst all the great activity. There is much to be thankful for and excited about here and Bethlehem. Thanks be to God!


Pastor Ellen

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