Congregation Connections

There’s always something going on in our synod’s congregations! Here’s a sampling of concerts, fund-raisers for mission, events, and activities coming up soon. Have an event to post or items to give to other ministries and congregations? Contact Cathy Deitrich at with details.


2018 Annual Enrollment
August – Portico announces 2018 contribution rates
October – Your organization must select one ELCA Primary health benefit option for 2018
November – Sponsored plan members make 2018 benefit choices

August 16
The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs Book/Bible Study
Salem Lutheran Church, 99 York Rd., Jacobus
Salem Lutheran Church (Jacobus) announces a four-week book/Bible study on Joel Salatin’s 2016 book The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs. Joel Salatin is a Christian farmer, speaker, and author of 10 books centering on stewardship in farming and our food culture; one of which is Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal. He and his family operate a four-generation farm called Polyface Farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. He is a regular contributor to such magazines as Mother Earth News, Stockman Grass Farmer, and Acres USA.

The study is hosted by the Stewardship Committee of Salem Church and will take place Wednesday evenings July 19, 26, August 9, and 16 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Anyone wishing to participate is asked to call the church office at 717-428-2811 or Fred Konhaus at 717-993-6486 so books may be ordered. The cost is $25 for a hardback edition or $15 for paperback.

August 27
“A Community Meal and Fundraiser” – Sponsored by churches of the South York Conference
Friedensaal Evangelical Lutheran Church, 9138 White Church Road, Seven Valleys (Held in the church social hall with A/C) 4:00 – 7:00 PM
To benefit two conference hunger ministries:  The Lord’s Lunch of St. John’s, New Freedom and the Food Pantry of Grace, Red Lion
A pulled barbecue pork meal with sides, beverage and dessert
Adults – $12.00, Children (6-12 yrs.) – $6.00, Under 6 yrs. – free.  Tickets sold at the door. Carry-out available.  Entertainment by Spirit Cellar Band of Grace Lutheran Church, Red Lion
For more information:  (717-428-3453

September 9
Fall Bazaar/Yard Sale and Chicken BBQ
Center Lutheran Church, 1498 Center Road, Newville, PA 17241
Start shopping at 7:30 a.m. & BBQ will be available at 11:00 a.m.
Reserve your spot now!  All crafters, home party demonstrators, yard sale, and individuals, etc. are welcome to join us.  Set up time starts at 6:30 a.m. Tables, chairs, and canopies not included.  $10.00 per spot.  Please call 717-776-4732 to reserve a spot by August 31, 2017.

September 10
Remembrance of 9-11:  Honoring Those Who Lost Their Lives (Flight 93, the Twin Towers, and the Pentagon)
Location:  The 9-11 Remembrance tree at the State Capitol by the Ryan Building
Time:  3:00 p.m.
For additional info contact:  Randall Tenor at 717-763-1804 or  Sponsored by the Religion and Society Center

September 10
Rejoicing Spirits Worship (a disABILITIES Ministry)
St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, 30 W. Main St., New Kingstown 17072
4:00 p.m. (pre-service singing begins at 3:45 p.m.)
The Rejoicing Spirits ministry reaches out to enrich the spiritual lives of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities along with their families, friends and other supportive community members. God’s message of love is shared through a meaningful and adapted Christian worship service and fellowship time. Individuals are free to be themselves while actively participating as contributing members in an inclusive faith community. The ministry shares the Rejoicing Spirits mode of spiritual inclusion with disability and faith-based organizations. For more information, contact Rose Hlavac at or 717.258.5666.

September 15-17
Lutheran Marriage Encounter
Spruce Lake Retreat Center, Canadensis, PA
Click here for more information and to register.

September 24, 4:00 PM
Installation Service (with reception to follow)
St. Stephen Lutheran Church, New Kingstown, PA
Please RSVP to so we can have an estimate of how many people will be attending and we can prepare an appropriate amount of food. 

September 29 (7:00 – 9:00 PM) & September 30 (8:30 AM – Noon)
Michael Foss Discipleship Ministry Workshop
St. Johns, 44 W. Main Street, Shiremanstown, PA 17011
This event is open to rostered leaders and lay persons in your congregation.  This two-day workshop is meant to help participants gain a greater understanding of shared discipleship in ministry.  Cost is $25 for both days; $10 for Friday session only or $20 for Saturday session only.  Payment can be mailed to St. Johns (clearly marked for the Michael Foss event) with checks made out to St. Johns Lutheran Church.  Online payment will be available shortly.  Participants should register online at: by September 22.  Registration is limited to first 100 people.

October 6-8
Lutheran Marriage Encounter
Black Swan Inn, Lee, Massachusetts
Click here for more information and to register.

October 15, 2017
Reconciling in Christ — A Forum for Congregations
Epiphany Lutheran Church, 1100 Colonial Road, Harrisburg
12:30 p.m. (lunch) 1:00 p.m. (program)
In 2016, our Lower Susquehanna Synod became a Reconciling in Christ Synod. A growing number of congregations in our synod are Reconciling in Christ.

  • What does it mean to be Reconciling in Christ?
  • How might your congregation begin the process of becoming a Reconciling in Christ congregation?
  • What have other congregations experienced on their journeys?

Find the answers to these and other questions at an upcoming forum! Participants include leaders of Reconciling in Christ congregations who will share their experiences; congregational members who will share what it means for people seeking a welcoming church home; synodical staff who will share new resources; and a representative of ReconcilingWorks, who will share some history of the organization and resources available to help you on your journey.

Please direct any questions to Molly Wirick at Please RSVP by October 9 so we can plan accordingly for lunch. Send RSVPs to or call 717-439-8135.

October 18
LYRA: Chants of Russian Orthodox Church and Russian Folk Songs
Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, 125 East High St., Elizabethtown
7:00 p.m.
LYRA, an a cappella group of six professional vocalists from St. Petersburg, Russia, will present a concert of Russian choral music. The first part of the concert – sacred music of Russian Orthodox church, includes ancient songs to works of famous masters and little-known but remarkable Russian composers of 18th – 20th centuries. The second part of their program is made up of Russian folk songs: comic, lyric, dancing, love songs. The duration of the concert is 60 – 70 minutes. There is no cost, however a free-will offering will be taken.  This is a unique opportunity to share the enormous Russian musical heritage. Come and enjoy the sounds of Russia as interpreted by real Russians. All the singers are professionals singing in different professional choirs and opera houses of St. Petersburg. For more information, please contact the church office at 717-367-2786.

October 22-23
LARC Vespers & Day of Dialogue
Mark your calendars now for our annual Lutheran-Anglican-Roman Catholic (LARC) Vespers, which will be held Sunday, October 22, at 4:00 p.m. at the United Lutheran Seminary Gettysburg Campus Chapel. Our LARC Day of Dialogue will be Monday, October 23, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Cardinal Keeler Center, Harrisburg. These events will take special note of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation as well as our progress on the path to Christian unity. The speaker for the Day of Dialogue will be Bishop Emeritus Donald J. McCoid, who had a key role in the creating the document Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry and Eucharist, which summarizes Lutheran-Catholic dialogue since 1965.


Have something your congregation needs? Place notice here and see if others have and are willing to share with you.

To Share:

St. John Lutheran in Steelton, has approximately 40 choir robes available. They are in very good shape, but could stand a good cleaning. Free to anyone who wants them. For more information, contact Pastor Tonya Eza at

Christ Lutheran Church in Linglestown has some chancel furniture items that are not being used and need a good home. There is a baptismal font, lectern, paschal candle stand, and two candle stands that are adjustable for position with spring loaded candle holders. The font, lectern and Paschal candle holder are made of wood and are painted white. The candle stands are brass. These items are free and If interested, please contact the church office at 545-4211 to make arrangements to pick up the items.

William and Jean Patterson are looking for a good home, free of charge for their 1986 Baldwin Marquee Fun Machine Spinet Organ. A bench is included. Please call 717-626-5865 if interested. 

St. John Lutheran Church, Boiling Springs, has a set of white paraments to share. Altar parament measurements are 60″ wide, 13″ front drape, and 32 and 1/4″ from front to back. Pulpit and lectern paraments measure 37×20″. Please call the church office (717-258-3559) or email if interested.

St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church, Chambersburg, is in the midst of a building/renovation project. The main focus of the construction project is the expansion of the nave. We are looking for a home for 45 padded (seat and back) pews in good condition.  Please contact the St. Luke office as soon as possible at if you would like information.

Christ Lutheran Church, Duncannon, has hymnals to share (approximately 72 LBW and 82 With One Voice). Contact Cindy Brookhart if interested.

Messiah Lutheran Church has the following items available for those who need them: 12 adult blue choir robes, Lutheran Books of Worship, Lutheran Book of Worship missal, communion trays, all color of paraments, and small  acolyte lighter. If interested, contact Pastor Thomas McKee at the synod office.