St. Abrahams Lutheran Church
A Letter from Abraham, the Church Mouse
I am Abraham, the Church Mouse! I am the steward of St. Abrahams Lutheran Church as well as the writer and editor of the Church Mouse Gazette -- St. Abrahams' own church newsletter! Here you will find the latest issue of our newsletter which is printed throughout the year and contains content on various church activities and community events. If you wish to see the past newsletters then please take a look at our page labeled "Past Issues."
I hope you enjoy our newsletter! If you have any suggestions on what else we can add, please let us know! Until then, may your days be full of love and laughter in this beautiful world.
Abraham, the Church Mouse
St. Abrahams Lutheran Church
The Church Mouse Gazette -- March, 2021
Hello, Abraham the Church Mouse here!
It has been quite a while since I have written to you. Even a little mouse, such as myself, has had so much to deal with since covid-19 has emerged and caused so many changes here at St. Abrahams; as well as throughout the rest of the world. We had to close the church last March, as most other churches did but we were happy to be able to have worship services outside at the pavilion during part of the summer months. Last August we were able to come back inside and worship as long as we followed the procedures enacted by the State of Maryland and the Del-MD Synod; this includes everyone wearing a mask, communion is served via individual communion cups, spacing of seating and the fans running and doors open to achieve maximin air flow. All areas are disinfected after each service. We are fortunate to have a loving, dedicated church family that has picked up these extra duties and made it possible to be able to worship together through the pandemic. Of course, not everyone has been able to come back to church yet due to health concerns; but more people are getting vaccinated and we expect to see them again as soon as they are cleared by their health professionals and as they feel comfortable leaving their homes for worship services.
Ephesians 3:16-19 (KJV)
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.
So, what has been happening in the last year??
So glad that you asked,
We welcomed a new Pastor! -- After 5 years, our beloved Pastor Matthew Schenning retired and we received an interim pastor, Amanda Nesvold, to lead us while we began the process of examining and joining several individual churches into a new parish. Unfortunately, Pastor Amanda left us after 5 months to interview for full time positions. In August, Pastor Dorothy Lundgren (Pastor Dot) came to St. Abrahams to lead us in worship and guide us in our journey. Due to covid-19 progress on the future parish has been put on hold due to the limits on public gatherings but we have been learning and sharing much with the leadership of Pastor Dot. Please join us on Sunday morning at 9:30 am and meet her.
Ed E. moved to Florida to pursue a new job opportunity. While we miss him, he does continue to keep in touch with us through phone calls and has promised to stop in when he returns to Maryland to visit with family and friends. He reports that he is looking for a new church to attend but cannot find one that is as friendly and caring as St. Abrahams!
Alee M. made 20 prayer shawls for her Girl Scout Gold Award project and they were blessed at a recent church service. They will be made available to those that are homebound as well as those with unexpected and/or ongoing medical issues.
St. Abrahams' has been very busy despite the pandemic. So many of our neighbors are in need due to job losses/cut backs and this has caused an increased need for food and financial assistance. We were able to collect and provide 10 boxes of food for NESAPs Christmas Holiday Dinner program and we are currently collecting food items for NESAPs Easter Holiday Dinner program. We hope to be able to provide another 10 boxes to help out our neighbors.
What have we missed?
Along with every other church and community organization, we have been very limited in our ability to continue with our planned events this past year. We have not been able to enjoy Fellowship Luncheon after the morning worship service. We had to halt in mid-way our collection of personal hygiene sets as Lutheran World Relief could not accept any donations due to covid restrictions. We had to cancel the St. Abrahams Community Picnic that is always held in July, our Vacation Bible School that is held in August and our Back To School collection as school children began the new school year by continuing virtual learning at home. Another disappointment was the necessity of cancelling our traditional Candlelight Christmas Eve Service.
Still, we consider ourselves very blessed that no one from our church family has contracted the covid-19 virus and that we continue to be able to come together to worship as a congregation--weather permitting. It's been a year of missed traditions and opportunities but we are looking forward to things getting back to normal after the pandemic is declared to be over.
So, what we are still able to continue doing?
Weekly Jingle Jar Collection - We continue to collect spare change weekly that is forwarded to the Fisher House Foundation to support our veterans and provide their families a place to stay while they receive medical treatment.
NESAP (Northeast Social Action Program) We continue to collect food and household items weekly and take them to NESAP to fight food insecurity which is a major but often unseen problem. Please keep these items in mind when you are grocery shopping and consider purchasing a few items to add to our food collection basket. NESAP is always accepting food donations as well as cleaning supplies and baby and pet items. These include:
- Cranberry Sauce
- Fruit (your choice)
- Macaroni & Cheese
- Baked Beans
- Dry Pasta
- Flavored Rice Side Dishes
- Flavored Noodles Side Dishes
- Instant Potatoes
- Box/Bag of Rice
- Can Gravy/Broth or Gravy Packet
- Muffin Mix
- Cake Mix
- Can of Frosting
- Napkins or Paper Towels
- Paper towels, Diapers/Formula
- Pet Food.
- Brown paper bag grocery bags
And before we forget, ways to get involved,
St. Abrahams Women of the ELCA -- If you are a woman that attends church here on Sunday then you are automatically a member of the St. Abrahams W-ELCA group of the Westminster Conference. Make sure that you pick up your copy of the Evangel on the back table (or see the one posted on the bulletin board) to see what is going on and make plans to attend a future meeting or a retreat day.
This is no longer a weekly job but there is still a need for someone to check the Flower Sign-Up Sheet and drop off the vases at Petals, Flowers and Gifts (by 9:00 am on Wednesday morning and pick up on Saturday before 12:00 noon) and place in the church. The church is billed directly by the flower shop. Please see Carolyn Krause if interested.
Many hands make light work!! Although not exciting, this task is necessary to keep our little church looking spiffy and tidied up. Please sign up on the sheet posted on the bulletin board if you are able to spend a few hours on a weekend/weekday or after morning services. This can be also be a monthly activity for a group with weekly tweaking in between.
Cemetery Clean-Up Day
See Jim Gemmill if you can help one Saturday morning (date to be determined) to work with his group to repair/replant the headstones in the cemetery that have broken or heaved out of place during the winter freeze/thaw.
We need a few people that can spare a Saturday to help drylock the pavilion. See Jim Gemmill if you have an afternoon to spare.
Happy Birthday Wishes To:
Charles Krause, III
W. Stanford Whiting
Sadie James Bosley
Well, that’s all for The Church Mouse Gazette for now. See you soon!
Stay healthy and safe!