St. John’s Gibraltar UCC, Birdsboro: April 13, 2014

Built on the Rock of Jesus Christ . . .

440For over 220 years the people of St. John’s have proudly proclaimed from a hilltop overlooking the Schuylkill River valley that our church is built on the rock of Jesus Christ and that we are a place to find help, hope and a home.

Help is offered through our discipleship and educational programs. One of our most popular programs is our mid-week Lenten soup and bread Bible studies. Some of the topics covered in the last few years included “The Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations” (Our congregation still uses these practices today); “24 Hours That Changed the World” (A Journey with Jesus through His Final 24 Hours); and “Body and Soul” (A study of the Heidelberg Catechism). Another popular program is our Vacation Bible School. We have played together in “God’s Big Backyard” entered the “the Bug Zone” and traveled to “Hometown Nazareth.”

Hope is found in worshiping God and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. Our worship honors the traditions of our reformed heritage as well as incorporating contemporary elements. We praise God through lifting our voices as a congregation and also through choral music, cantatas and solos. Often these are accompanied by the glockenspiel, strings, trumpets, organ and percussion. We express God’s love and hope through the performing arts in creative character sketches, plays and puppet shows.

440-2Home is provided through fellowship opportunities for members and the greater community. We invite seniors in the church and community to be active through entertainment, lunch, games and fun field trips through our Still Going Strong seniors group and through our linking with the Berks County Area Agency on Aging to offer the Senior Center Without Walls program.

We opened our doors to the congregation of True Faith Independent Holiness Church when they lost their building to structural damage. We have shared in worship, fellowship and mission with our brothers and sisters in Christ during their time with us.

We have provided help, hope and a home beyond our four walls. We have prepared and served meals for less fortunate in our own community, organized clothing and blanket collections for a local ministry to the homeless, and collected thousands of cans of food for local food banks. Through the 30 Hour Famine youth events and the Vacation Bible School mission projects, our children and youth have raised funds for mosquito nets and fresh water. This year we are raising funds for Heifer International’s “Fill the Ark” project. This mission seeks to meet the needs of some of the poorest people of the world by providing them with animals, helping them with producing their own food and improving their environment. To learn more, visit us on Facebook: St. John’s (Gibraltar) UCC.

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