COOKING CREW

Although unofficial, this ministry provided hot meals for several people who were sick or hospitalized this year. This usually lasts for one or two weeks and is gratefully received by the recipients while they recuperate.   

Sincerely, Phyllis Bensinger

 

Deaconesses of Grace

This year the existing team met to vote in a Chairperson/Point of Contact: Megan Reichert, Treasurer: Dawn Koch, Secretary: Renee Keller. The team then conducted interviews and voted in two other team members to have 7 total members: Kathy Gallo, Renee Keller, Megan Reichert, Dawn Koch, Linda Jackoby, Suzie Billman, Lora Boyer. The team met to discuss policies and procedures for the group, as well as, events and roles. These policies and procedures were presented to the Deacons but were not voted on by the congregation to be approved. The team agreed to meet quarterly unless there were special events occurring that warranted further planning and discussion. This year the deaconesses have supported the following events: Church Picnic, monthly communion, luncheon for congregational meetings, Installation service for Pastor Ben, decorating church for various seasons, and assistance with the current coffee station in foyer. In the upcoming year the team hopes to finalize our policies and procedures, continue to positively communicate with elders and deacons, and continue to grow as a team together in Christ. 

 

GOD’S HELPING HANDS REPORT FOR 2020

God’s Helping Hands was closed because of Covid-19 from March 11 to July 1, but we were able to use the time to complete several structural improvements at G.H.H.  My son-in-law, John built 6 big racks so we could hang all the clothes instead of having the clothes on shelves.  My daughter, Tammy and I were busy hanging things and I was really amazed at how much clothing fits on the racks compared to the shelves.  Not only did the racks allow us to save space, move a lot more clothing, they eliminated the need for the volunteers to refold the clothes while provided the shoppers with a better shopping experience.  We are now able to move an average of 50 to 90 women’s tops each week.  We are so thankful for the time we had to get all this work done and look forward to continuing to improve everyone’s shopping experience in 2021.

I am thankful for these faithful volunteers:  Kenny Kistler, Joan Noll, Carole Rehrig, Phyllis Bensinger, Charlotte Williams, Barbara Miller, Phyllis Seigfried, Judith Boggs and Carole’s niece, Linda Vaughn who come out faithfully to sort/file the clothes and help in many other ways. 

God’s Helping Hands exists not only to help people with the physical needs but also with their spiritual needs and are very thankful for Chuck Covelusky, who comes out each Wednesday to talk to the people about spiritual needs.  We are also thankful for Pam Smith, Kim Giambrone, Sue Cline and her son Michael, Irene Miller, Martha Holubec, and Summer Shamlian who help when they can, as well as the 9 new volunteers in 2020.

Some additional changes made in 2020 included:

  • Increased shopping hours. H.H. is now open every Wednesday from 10 AM to 3 PM as well as being open the first Saturday of each month.  This changes has allowed the people who normally work during the day a chance to shop.  The first Saturday that we were opened we had under 20 shoppers, however half of them were new.  We are praying that this additional day will not only help shoppers but will also allow others to volunteer to help in 2021.
  • G.H.H. can no be found on Facebook.  Thanks to Tammy, our church secretary, Kathy Hubble and Martha Holubec more information is getting out.  The website is being updated regularly and Kathy and Martha have been making nice fliers to give out at G.H.H. to inform the shoppers about G.H.H. and other church activities.  In 2021 we will continue to work on improving communications and reaching people.

To date 398 different people have visited G.H.H. this year and God has opened the door to help more.  Our daughter and son-in-law are involved with several different ministries in Reading and in 2020 we have been able to partner with helping the Hope Rescue Mission, Ashes to Beauty and Mercy Pregnancy Center.  In July we also partnered with C.E.F. and Carole Clausser to pick up the unwanted clothing from the bin and take them to a facility near Harrisburg.  This partnership has not only been a blessing to us, but it has allowed C.E.F. to collect 6 center per pound to help meet their financial needs.

 

We want to thank each one who has been donating things to God’s Helping Hands.  We are all amazed at all the donations we receive.  We even had to stop taking donations in December because the drop off shed was full and we didn’t have time to sort the clothes because we needed to get out all of the items we had saved for people for Christmas. 

God Bless you all. 

In Christian Love, Sandy Kupres and all G.H.H. Helpers

 

KIDS CONNECTION 2020 YEAR END REPORT

The year 2020 had its challenges but with God’s help we navigated through uncharted waters.  Producing lessons online took teamwork as well as much prayer and concentration.  Its not easy to share your heart with a camera.  😊  The break from meeting in person gave all of us a new appreciation for our church family including the kids.  It was so good when we finally came back to church.  The kids love to get together with their friends!

At Kids Connection we purposely try to make our time together as meaningful and normal as possible.  Kids need to see the reassuring and welcoming smile from their leaders and peers.

As we look to the future we are asking, even more earnestly, for God to lead the way.  Only He knows the future with its pitfalls, dangers, joys, and triumphs.  We ask our dear church family to remember our kids, parents, and grandparents in prayer.  A favorite scripture prayer is Ephesians 3:14-19 and can be prayed over young and old alike.  We also challenge a few of you to take it one step farther and make a life changing New Year 2021 decision.  In early 2021 we will be launching the “Prayer Guardian” program for our children and youth here at GBC.  Our kids need your prayers and will be encouraged to know someone from our church family has got their back.  You can be that someone.  Program details will be coming your way soon.

God bless our church family as we move TOGETHER for HIS Glory!

 

LADIES’ BIBLE STUDY GROUP

10:00 Tuesday mornings

First of all, I would like to say, what a blessing it is, to be involved and teaching the ladies who attend the study. This is the most challenging ministry to me, but it’s the highlight of the week to open up scriptures and share the Word of God. We just completed the book of Ecclesiastes. At first, there was some doubt about studying this book, thinking that it would be depressing. But many came away with the understanding, that without Christ as the whole center of their life, everything else is vanity, or “vexation of spirit.” I believe in teaching the “whole counsel of God,” taking scriptures in context, and how it applies to our lives.

 

Everyone liked the series by Tommy Nelson, so in the new upcoming year, we will be studying the book of Romans by him, also. I know of pastors who took years to preach this book, but we will have the “condensed” version. I’m not into numbers, but that each lady would be serious minded and Women of the Word. We have an average of 8 to 10 ladies who attend, with several coming from other churches. I am amazed of God’s Providence in bringing each lady from different backgrounds to want Truth. In spite of all the crazy things that has happened this 2020, God is still on the Throne, and we know that for those who love God all things ARE working together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 

In His grace, Joan Noll

Missions Report

The 2020 Missions Committee consisted of Christine Bitler and Diane Ebert, Chair.  Janelle Blatt left the area to serve with Child Evangelism Fellowship at their Headquarters in Warrenton, MO as a One-year Intern.

We began 2020 with 10 active missionaries we support spanning the globe from right here in our own backyard in Schuylkill County to Sri Lanka, an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean.

There have been many Bulletin inserts plus email blasts throughout the year showcasing our current missionaries, their praises and prayer requests, and also from several previous missionaries as well.  We were also treated with updates from Frank & Melissa Varaso, members from our church who went out on their own, serving the Lord with Roving Volunteers in Christ’s Service (RVICS), based in Texas, and are self-supporting.

The covid-19 virus wreaked havoc not only in our backyard but around the world for our missionaries as well.  Trying to set dates with several who are or have been home on furlough has been challenging.  We are currently working to confirm a date with Dan & Becca Vallette before their return to Chile.  Alex Mikusow, Director at York Teen Haven, recently told me he would love to bring some of his students up and share what is happening with his ministry in York, PA.

An exciting development has been the Missions Committee referral, to the Elder Board, for the admission of Jared Park and his family to partner with us and their ministry in Chile. Jared & Naldy embody the definition of “Missions” & “Missionary” as defined in Grace Bible Church’s Mission’s Policy Manual adopted 1-24-17.  It states “GBCHM’s purposeful, external outreach with the gospel of Jesus Christ to the unsaved world as expressed through verbal, written and love/service ministries seeking the conversion, discipleship and church planting of and for those whom we and our partners encounter so that we ‘might by all means, save some’  (I Corinthians 9:22, NKV)”

Jared and his family visited our church October 13, 2019 with Jared speaking during the morning Worship service and his wife, Naldy, blessing us through song.  The Parks are a very vibrant young couple, along with their 3 children, who have a true heart for ministry, through training at Tierra Alta Camp and Church Planting Center located in Santiago, Chile.  Their goal is to identify potential church planters, uplift and train the Chilean church to plant more churches and ultimately see the fruit of actual Church Plants.  As Jared stated “Everything we do is to grow believers and with that in mind we must grow believers who reproduce more believers.”

We are very blessed to welcome the Jared Park family as new missionaries that were approved at our Annual Congregational Meeting on December 6, 2020.

Our Vision is to intentionally participate in world-wide missionary endeavors to make and equip Disciples of Christ.

We – as a congregation were able to bless 76 children with gifts through Samaritans Purse Operation Christmas Child by collecting 76 Shoe boxes. We hope that many lives will be changed as a result of these shoeboxes.

Sincerely, Diane Ebert

 

ORWIGSBURG FOOD PANTRY

Various congregational members generously contributed their time for three openings: July 17&18, Thanksgiving, and Christmas 2020.  We were able to give Christmas gifts with a $40 maximum, and fill Christmas stockings for 8 children whose parents come to the Pantry. 

Thank you to all who assist in this important ministry to feed the hungry in our area. 

Sincerely, Phyllis Bensinger

 

WORSHIP TEAM 2020 ANNUAL REPORT

This year was a memorable one, but one that I think most of us would like to forget.  To say that it brought some challenges would be an understatement.  On top of the Covid issues, sadly we lost a few people from our team.

Despite all of the turmoil, we were blessed to have Pastor Ben and family with us.  I think he and the elders did a great job leading us through this difficult year.  It’s also been a real blessing to have Ben and Sarah’s talents to help out the worship team from time to time.  They’ve been very supportive of me and of the team.

Thanks to Mike Koch’s expertise, we have a new computer for our video needs which is giving us some new capabilities.  I’m looking forward to working more with Mike to see how we can enhance our services through this new technology.

I’m anxiously waiting to see what our building renovations and expansion will add to our ministry capabilities.  As a church, I think we need to not look back but look ahead to see what God has in store for us in 2021.  We on the worship team will be looking for new songs, new team members and new opportunities to spread the gospel through music.

Sing to the Lord, you saints of His; praise His holy name.  Psalm 30:4.

In Christ, Don Johnson