Church is much more than a building
Dear Editor: After reading Sound Off and hearing the confusion people are feeling about St. John's United Methodist Church at 1211 W. Arch St., I am writing this letter to clarify some facts to the community about our place of worship.
After several years, many tears, some excitement and many proposals to bring the "old" building up to state standards for a public building (for example, handicapped access), along with a new heating system, St. John's administration board made the decision to move into the "new worship center" (the old parish hall). Much work and time was spent in the renovation project, and now monies have been opened up for God's work.
St. John's Church family, moving into a new building and staying as a church community, can now work harder to complete Jesus' commission to his disciples. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus says, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age."
In the new worship center, we have a vestibule, sanctuary, altar, chancellor rail and a pulpit, along with two kitchens for celebration gatherings and several rooms for Sunday school, children's church, youth groups and community outlooks (for example, Narcotics Anonymous meetings). The 70-year-old mural that was behind the pulpit now has a new home and shines just as bright in the new worship center. God's work will be able to shine, too. Come and check us out.
Our resources will be better and will allow us to do more community outreach and set some mission work into action and hopefully have an impact on the Shamokin area.
We welcome anyone looking for a "church" to come and be part of a church family and worship God at St. John's. Again, come and check us out.
Remember the hymn: "The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is not a resting place, the church is a people. I am the church! You are the church! We are the church together! All who follow Jesus, all around the world! Yes, we're the church together!"
Doris A. Ziemba