July 8: Vacation Bible School
On Saturday, July 8th, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, Vacation Bible School took place at the church. Barb Geiner, Megan Muehling, and Kathy Gohn prepared the event for the Chiques Family and the Mount Joy Community. The theme was Family Carnival Day. There was a Bounce House, arts and crafts, games, Bible stories, games, face painting, and lots of food.
This was a wonderful outreach to the families in our community.
On Sunday, July 2nd, we welcomed Pastor Michael Byrd and his wife, Cindy, to the Chiques Family. Pastor Mike preached at both the 9:00 am and the 10:30 am services. At the 9:00 am service, Bob Burkhardt asked the Chancel Choir to come in and sing a special anthem, entitled, “Celebrate the Day.” Pastor Mike then gave his first sermon at Chiques, entitled, “The Heart of Service,” which encouraged the congregation to serve the Lord, the church, and the community. After Pastor Mike gave the Benediction, Bob Burkhardt and the Chancel Choir surprised both him and his wife, as they “laid hands on” them as the Choir sang, “Here I Am, Lord.” The congregation wished to show their support and their solidarity, as they welcomed both Pastor Mike and Cindy to the Chiques Family.
At 10:00 am, Pastor Mike and Cindy came up to Sloan Hall to enjoy refreshments and meet members of the congregation. Joining them were their daughter in law, 3 grandchildren, and Cindy’s father. Mike then conducted the 10:30 am service, with the Praise Band performing.
At noon, the Chiques Lunch Bunch went to Mamma Rita’s Italian Restaurant, here in Mount Joy. This was a special Lunch Bunch, as we welcomed Pastor Mike and Cindy. 35 people attended the event. There was good food and good fellowship. In addition,there were balloons, cake, bookmarks, and chocolates!
All in all, it was a wonderful day. We are very happy to have Pastor Mike and Cindy here at Chiques! And we were very pleased to have so many members of the congregation in church and at Lunch Bunch!
June 11: Farewell to Pastor Bev
On Sunday, June 11th, we said good bye to our dear Pastor Bev. At 9:45 am, we held a combined service, in which both the Praise Band and the Chancel Choir participated. Pastor Bev gave her last sermon at Chiques, in which she spoke about her life journey. The Chancel Choir sang a special anthem, “You Raise Me Up,” dedicated to Pastor Bev. At the conclusion of the service, the Choir then sang a Choral Benediction, “We Say Amen.” Bob Burkhardt invited the congregation to “lay hands on” the Choir, who in turn “laid hands on” Pastor Bev, as they sang the song. In so doing, the entire Chiques Family was connected to both Pastor Bev and to each other. It was an emotional time for everyone.
The quilt, a gift given to her by the congregation, was on display in Sloan Hall, as well as the engraved clock, given to her by the Chancel Choir.
Following the service, everyone moved to Sloan Hall for a reception, hosted by Bob and Patrice Burkhardt. Two sheet cakes were cut and served, both of which were inscribed with “We Will Miss You, Pastor Bev.” Coffee was served by Linda and Gerry Geib. Carol Thomas served her famous punch. Elaine Bowersox, Jay and Sylvia Mueller, and Maria Adams helped Patrice and Bob with the reception.
Everyone enjoyed the refreshments, and the opportunity to wish Pastor Bev and Pastor Rick good health and much happiness in their retirement. We will certainly miss them!
June 7: Pastor Bev’s Retirement/Farewell Luncheon
On Wednesday, June 7th, the Chiques Prayer Shawl Ministry hosted a Retirement/Farewell Luncheon for Pastor Bev. The event took place at Mamma Rita’s Italian Restaurant, here in Mount Joy. Thirteen members of the Prayer Shawl group attended the event.
Upon entering the restaurant, Cathy Shope greeted Pastor Bev and presented her with a lovely corsage. Patrice Burkhardt then welcomed everyone and gave a brief history of the Chiques Prayer Shawl Ministry. At the end of her comments, she presented Pastor Bev with a prayer shawl, which was prayed over by each of the members of the group. Carol Thomas then gave a blessing of the food. Judy Riley had purchased an arrangement of purple balloons, which gave the table a festive atmosphere. At each place setting were crocheted crosses, beautifully made by Sue McMahon and Esther Marrero. Everyone then enjoyed a delicious lunch of various Italian entrees. Following the meal, Nikki Griest presented Pastor Bev with a card and gift card to The Hideaway Restaurant, located in Gretna, near Pastor Bev and Pastor Rick’s home. At the end of the meal, everyone enjoyed a dessert of white and chocolate cake, purchased by Linda Mains and Patrice. At the end of the Luncheon, Maria Adams then presented Pastor Bev with a lovely floral arrangement, which was purchased by Elaine Bowersox, Shirley Ware, and herself.
It was a lovely luncheon, with good food and good fellowship. And it was a memorable occasion, as Pastor Bev had approved of the original idea of a Prayer Shawl Ministry, when Patrice suggested it four years ago. Moreover, Pastor Bev prayed over each and every one of the 131 prayer shawls that the group has given away since its inception in 2013. So our time together was truly bittersweet as everyone wished Pastor Bev much health and happiness in her retirement, even though we will miss her terribly!
May 21: Pastor Bev’s Retirement Banquet
On Sunday, May 21st, from 12:00 to 2:30 pm, we held Pastor Bev’s Retirement Banquet at The Gathering Place, here in Mount Joy. Over 100 people attended the event! Rick Hean opened the ceremony with a warm welcome to everyone who came. Jenny Hean then gave a blessing of the food. Everyone enjoyed a buffet lunch of salad, stuffed chicken breast, roast beef, ham loaf, buttered corn, whipped potatoes, cake, and an ice cream bar. Rick Hean then opened the floor to various speakers and presentations. Bob Burkhardt and the Chancel Choir presented Pastor Bev with a lovely clock, engraved especially for her. Carol Thomas and Elaine Bowersox then presented Pastor Bev with a beautiful queen-size quilt and also a lap quilt from the congregation. Pastor Bev was truly moved. Other individuals then came forward and spoke, thanking Pastor Bev for all that she has done for Chiques. The banquet was a wonderful opportunity to say thank you to Pastor Bev and to wish her well in her retirement. And of course, it was a lovely way for everyone in the Chiques Family to share a meal and enjoy fellowship!
May 12: Mother/Daughter Banquet
On Friday, May 12th, at 6:00 pm, in Sloan Hall, the Chiques Women in Mission sponsored their annual Mother/Daughter Banquet. Pastor Bev opened the program with welcoming comments and a blessing of the food. Everyone then enjoyed a delicious dinner of tossed salad, chicken, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, rolls and butter, and ice cream cake roll, all catered by Country Home Catering. The handsome and efficient servers of the meal were Jay Mueller, Larry Bowersox, Gary Ault, Rick Geiner, and Matt Geiner. Following the meal, Marcia Fuhrman, past winner of “Mother of the Year,” announced this year’s winner, Barb Geiner. Marcia gave a lovely biography of Barb, helping us to know her better. After the announcement, both Audrey Buckner and Lisa Gibble read poems about mothers. Then a game was played and prizes were awarded. At the conclusion of the dinner, the women proceeded to the sanctuary, where entertainment was provided by Elva Hurst, a chalk artist.
Everyone had a wonderful time! It was so nice seeing all of the mothers, grandmothers, daughters, granddaughters, friends, and neighbors come together to celebrate this special holiday! A special thanks to Audrey Buckner, Lorraine Lutz, and the Chiques Women in Mission for preparing this lovely event!
May 7: Four Seasons Singers Concert
The Four Seasons Singers will be returning to Chiques to present a Spring Concert on Sunday, May 7th, at 3:00 pm. The group was featured in a Christmas Concert this past December, and will now present a wide and varied repertoire of music for their Spring Program. We hope that you can join us for a wonderful Sunday afternoon of music. Admission is free, and a free will offering will be collected for the Performing Arts Concert Series. There will be a light reception following the concert in Sloan Fellowship Hall.
April 30: Pancake Breakfast
Are you hungry for pancakes? If so, you are in luck because we will be having another Pancake Breakfast on April 30th, from 8:30 am to 9:30 am. Worship will follow at 9:45 am in the Sanctuary. Donations will be taken and monies collected will help lower the cost for Pastor Bev’s Farewell Dinner. So bring your family, your friends, and your appetite!
April 16: Easter Sunday Dinner
Last Easter a group of Chiques folks went to Gus’s for Easter Dinner together. It was enjoyed so much, we’re doing it again this year! We’ll eat at the Country Table Restaurant this year on Sunday, April 16th at 11:10 am. Each person orders from a special Easter menu, with meals ranging in price from $9.99 to $14.99, plus dessert. Our reservation begins at 11: 00 am, so we’ll go right from the worship service. If you’d like to join us, we have 18 spaces available. Please contact the church office, or use the sign up sheets at the Welcome Center or in Sloan Hall. The deadline to sign up is Tuesday, April 11th. Like an Easter egg hunt, don’t wait. You might miss out!
April 16: Easter Sunday: One Service at 10:00 am
“He Is Risen!” “He Is Risen, Indeed!” is a world-changing, life-changing conversation. We all have the joy of sharing in that conversation with our friends, family, and church family this Easter, April 16th. We will gather in one service at 10:00 am to celebrate the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection and his promise of resurrection life for all who believe and follow Him. Glory will fill the sanctuary as we rejoice with hymns, praise songs, and anthem; enjoy the beauty of the flowers; and consider our final temptation–believing this good news is literally too good to be true. Your Easter Offering envelopes will be welcomed at this service, of course. Most importantly, YOU are welcomed to be a part of the world wide celebration of the triumph of God’s love over the powers of evil and death.
April 13: Maundy Thursday
On Thursday, April 13th, at 6:00 pm, everyone is cordially invited to a Maundy Thursday Dinner. This will be a simple dinner; nothing fancy. No appetizers; no salad; no desserts; no coffee; no drinks. The menu will consist of baked ziti, Italian bread, and bottled water.
If you are interested in attending, please use the Sign-Up Sheets, found in both the Narthex and Sloan Hall. Because we need an exact count of those attending, the deadline to sign up is April 9th.
Upon completion of the meal, at 7:00 pm, we will have Communion, and then move to the Sanctuary, for our Tenebrae Service. Please plan to join our Chiques family of friends, as we move toward the most important holiday of Easter Sunday!
April 8: EASTER EGG HUNT
On Saturday, April 8th, there were Easter eggs, chocolates, candy, Easter baskets, bunny ears, children, parents, and grandparents galore, as everyone enjoyed the annual Easter Egg Hunt! The weather cooperated and the sun was shining, as the children hunted for Easter eggs on the church property. And it did not take long before all of the eggs were discovered! Everyone then found their way up to Sloan Hall, where they opened their eggs and collected their candy. There was also a table of refreshments, where everyone cookies, brownies, cheese doodles, and beverages! Following the refreshments, the children gathered around as Pastor Bev spoke to them about the history of Easter eggs and the importance of Easter Sunday. Many thanks to Lisa Gault and her committee for their work on this activity!
April 2: CHIQUES LUNCH BUNCH
On Sunday, April 2nd, the Chiques Lunch Bunch went to the Mount Joy Diner. There were 24 people in attendance, our largest group ever! Everyone enjoyed good food and good fellowship!
March 1: Lent Begins
Jesus gave himself completely to God’s work of redeeming the world and all of us. This season of the church year invites us to intentionally give our attention to Jesus for six weeks. That is not much in response to the gift of eternal life! As we face the transitions happening in our church and our world, we all need to come closer to Christ as our guide and friend.
This year’s Lenten Journey begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1st. We will gather in the Sanctuary to quiet our minds and hearts and enter in this centuries-old practice of preparing ourselves to walk with Jesus through His struggles and receive the great gift of eternal life in Him on a joyous Easter. Our service will begin at 7:00 pm and will include scripture, simple songs, and optional ashes or oil to equip our personal and congregational journey of Lent.
January 29: New Pastor Announced
In a combined worship service on January 29th, the waiting and wondering ended much earlier than we anticipated. Rick Hean, chair of the Staff Parish Relations Committee, announced that Michael Byrd will be our new pastor, beginning July 1, 2017. Mike is coming to us from Bethany UMC in the Allentown area. Rick shared that the SPRC members were very quickly impressed with Mike in their meeting with him and the District Superintendent. “Before the door even closed all the way after Sandy Myers took him out to tour the building, we were all saying ‘Yes, he’s the one!'” Pastor Bev shared that she has already met with Mike and agrees that he will be a good fit for our congregation — especially in light of the work of the Strategic Planning/CAT results retreat.
Over the next few months, Pastor Bev and Pastor Mike will be meeting and corresponding to work on a smooth transition. Pastor Mike is very excited by the work we are doing in our Strategic Planning, and Pastor Bev will be keeping him abreast of what’s happening on that score. He has experience working outreach to new people, and is thrilled that’s one of our top goals.
Please keep Pastor Mike and his wife, Cindy, in your prayers as they make this transition. They’re excited to move into the Mount Joy area, having come here for vacations and having some family ties not far away. You’ll be getting more information as we move forward in this transition.
We are truly blessed to have this appointment come so early in the season. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
January 28: STRATEGIC PLANNING HAS BEGUN
On Saturday, January 28th, a group of 26 individuals came together with consultant, Dr. Sharon Barley, to begin moving Chiques into the future God has in mind for us.
First we worked in pairs, then in larger groups, and finally we shared the things each group noticed that needed to be changed, physically, to make our church more inviting and user-friendly. Some can be done almost immediately; others will take longer. Here’s the list in priority order and the people who’ve committed to make things begin happening:
Narthex Make-Over: Elaine and Larry Bowersox, Patrice and Bob Burkhardt, Lisa Gault
Signage: Gary Ault, Rick Geiner, Donna Torner
Sunday School Rooms Makeover: Beth Watts, Sandy Myers, Megan Muehling, Barb Geiner
Upgrade the Church Website: Patrice Burkhardt, Nikki Griest
Get Our Name on the Building: Donna Torner
Sanctuary Window Treatment: Sandy Myers
Lighted Outdoor Signage: Steve Palmeter
Storage Shed Upgrade: Trustees
Carpet Cleaning/Replacement in Sloan Hall: Trustees
Our next gathering will look at strategies for reaching out and building relationships with new people, and how we can equip ourselves to carry them out. Once again, everyone is welcome to join in this gathering. This is, literally, all our work. The church is the people, and every person’s input and efforts are necessary to move forward.