December/January Messenger

Posted by Alsace Admin, With 0 Comments, Category: Church News,

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2201 Kutztown Road, Reading, PA 19605

Phone: 610-929-8727


Morning Worship: 8:15 & 10:45 a.m.

8:15 Service Broadcast live over 1340AM

Streamed on the Internet at

Sunday School for all ages – 9:30 a.m.

“Church on the Hill, Standing on the Word”

December,2016/January, 2017



May the Christmas presents remind you of God’s greatest gift – His only begotten Son.

May the Christmas candles remind you of Him who is the Light of the World.

May the Christmas tree remind you of another tree on which He died for you.

May the Christmas cheer remind you of Him who said,”Be of good cheer.”

May the Christmas feast remind you of Him who is the Bread of Life.

May the Christmas snow remind you of the glorious proclamation of His birth.

May the Christmas bells remind you of His glad tidings which we are to proclaim to all mankind.

May the Christmas season remind you in every way of Jesus Christ our King.

Rev. Richard A. Nelson, Pastor

Rev. Charles E. Fair, Pastor Emeritus

Rev. Mark E. Brophy, Pastor Emeritus

Mr. David Rutt, Music Director

Mrs. Nina Rowley, Organist

Miss Cynthia Speicher, Secretary

Mr. William Reber, Jr., Sexton


Mrs. Sherri Mengel, Sunday School Superintendent

Mrs. Barbara Coller, Council Secretary

Ms. Carol Kunsman, Envelope Secretary

Mr. D. Richard Wieder, Treasurer

Council Members/Term Expires

Richard Bailey, Jr. End of 2017

Ryan Breisch – Vice President – End of 2016

John Funk – End of 2017

 Kimberly Grinage – President End of 2016

 Peggy Harter  – End of 2017

Jeffrey Klinger – End of 2016

Donald Moll –  End of 2018

Mary Pachuilo – End of 2016

Evelyn Sheetz – End of 2018

Gerald Speicher – End of 2018

Lee Strause – End of 2017

Marsha Yadlosky –   End of 2016

      The angel said to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid; for see­ I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”

If you were to ask anyone, “What is the most joyful time of the year?”, without a doubt the unanimous response would be that Christmas is the most joyful time of the year. One of the songs we hear during the Christmas season is, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

In 1719 Isaac Watts wrote the now famous Christmas carol, “Joy to the World.” The interesting thing about that song is that the only stanza related to Christmas and the birth of Jesus is the first one that announces “the Lord is come.” There is no mention of Mary and Joseph, the angels, the Shepherds, the manager, or the Wise Men. Yet, it is one of our most beloved Christmas carols because it captures the essence of Christmas, which is joy.

Watts was correct when he titled his carol, “Joy to the World, ” for Christmas is not just joy to America-it is not a national joy. It is not joy to the Caucasian-it is not a racial joy. It is not joy to the West-it is not a cultural joy. It is not joy to the rich-it is not financial joy. It is not joy to the educated-it is not intellectual joy. It is not joy to the happy-it is not emotional joy. It is not joy to the healthy-it is not physical joy. It is joy to the world. It is universal joy. Even the angel in Luke 2, verse 10 said, “I bring you good tidings of great joy.”

Christmas truly is a time of joy to the world. Christmas is the joy of the Birth of a Son, the Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Over two thousand years ago this Baby was born who would shape the destiny of the entire world.

As it is recorded in Luke 2: 10-11, the angel said to the shepherds that they were not to be afraid, “for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy.” But why was the news so good? The angel explains in v.11, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior.” This Baby, this Savior, is born TO YOU!

The best news you will ever hear at Christmas is, “The Lord is come.” That is why there is joy to the world, and joy to you and me!


The Rev. Richard A. Nelson


Pastor Nelson will be away December 26 through January 2. Please call the church office with any pastoral needs. Pastor David Reinwald of Kissingers Church will be providing pastoral care while Pastor Nelson is away.


Barbara Bobb and Robert Moore

Many Alsace members desire to send their Christmas greetings to staff members. Their addresses are as follows:

The Rev. & Mrs. Richard Nelson 559 E. Linden Street Fleetwood, PA 19522

The Rev. & Mrs. Charles Fair 2112 Parkview Drive Wyomissing, PA 19610

The Rev. & Mrs. Mark Brophy 216 Oak Circle Leesport, PA 19533

Mr. & Mrs. David Rutt 4332 Danor Drive Reading, PA 19605

Mr. & Mrs. Nina Rowley 209 Coral Lane Reading, PA 19605

Miss Cynthia Speicher 3311 Marion Avenue Laureldale, PA 19605

Mr. & Mrs. William Reber, Jr. 230 Gollub drive Birdsboro, PA 19508


Every Sunday at 8:15 & 10:45 a.m.

(The liturgical color for each Sunday is listed in parenthesis)

December 4 (blue) – 2nd Sunday of Advent; Sacrament of Holy Communion “Joy to the Earth.”

December 11 (blue) – 3rd Sunday of Advent; Sunday School Christmas Pageant “He Comes to Make His Blessings Flow”

December 18 (blue)- 4th Sunday of Advent; (Christmas Pageant snow date) “The Wonders of His Love”

December 24 (white or gold) – Christmas Eve – 5:oo p.m. & 11:oo p.m.

December 25 (white or gold) – Christmas Day – one Worship Service at 8:15 a.m. No Sunday School

January 1 (white) – The Name of Jesus (normal Sunday schedule); Joint Sunday School with movie and refreshments

January 8 (white) – The Baptism of Our Lord; Sacrament of Holy Communion

January 15 (green) – 2nd Sunday after Epiphany

January 22 (green) – 3rd Sunday after Epiphany

January 29 (green) – 4th Sunday after Epiphany; Praise & Worship; Souper Bowl Sunday

February 5 {green) – 5th Sunday after Epiphany

Sharing the Ministry of Alsace

Be sure to tell others about the ministry of Alsace: It is a welcoming and friendly congregation. There is always inspiration and hope, not to mention good food! The people of Alsace have a sense of purpose and mission of serving others. Alsace centers its congregational life on the grace of God, which is for all people. Start spreading the news; that is, the “Good News” of God’s love and the ministry and mission of Alsace.

2016 Advent Theme

The 2016 Advent Theme is “Joy to the World.” The four Sundays in Advent will focus on the Christmas carol with the same name:

November 27 – “The Lord is Coming!”

December 4 – “Joy to the Earth!”

December 11 – “He Comes to Make His Blessings Flow!”

December 18 – “The Wonders of His Love!”


Parents – need to do some Christmas shopping but can never find the time? When was the last time you had a nice “Dinner for Two?” The Youth Group is here to help! On Friday, December 9 from 6:00 to 8 :30 p.m., they are offering FREE babysitting for children from infant to age 11. There will be games, crafts and snacks for them to do while they are here. Forms can be picked up on a Sunday morning or you can call the church office to sign-up. The deadline is Sunday, December 4 so we can make sure we have enough supplies for all who are attending.

Christmas Shopping

The youth are selling Scrip Gift Cards: Forms can be picked up on a Sunday morning or you can call the church office during the week. Deadline to order and make payment is Sunday, December 4.

Sheetz Coupon Books are also available to purchase. They have $20 worth of coupons and are good for 3 years! The cost is $1O per book and can be purchased on a Sunday morning or you can stop during the week between 9:00 a.m . and 4:00 p.m.

Christmas Worship Christmas Eve 5:00 p.m. Children and Family Worship A special gift and blessing for all children present “Candle-lighting” with glow sticks

Christmas Eve 11:oo p.m. Traditional Candlelight Worship Special Prelude Music begins around 10:30 This service is broadcast live on 1340 AM and at

Christmas Day Worship at 8:15 a.m. only (no Sunday School)


The Fellowship Committee is continuing the Supper Club in 2017. We would like your assistance in selecting the restaurants for each month in 2017. The form is included in this Messenger. Also, please note that the 2017 Supper Club will be scheduled on the first Wednesday of each month, beginning April 5; the entire restaurant bill will be on ONE CHECK; and there will be NO COUPONS allowed. Menus will be in the folder outside the Church Office for your convenience. The Fellowship Committee is very excited that this has been a well-attended event and we are looking forward to even more people coming out to join in the food and fun each month.

Hearing Devices

Wireless hearing devices are available to those who need or desire them for our worship services. They may be obtained by seeing Lee Strause on a Sunday morning.

In the Event of Bad Weather

In the event that Sunday morning worship would need to be cancelled due to severe weather, you can check WFMZ TV. Check your local TV station, or you can see all the closings posted at Also, if you are ever in doubt, you can call Kim Grinage (610-376-1962), or Pastor Nelson (610-944-6131).

2017 Sacrament of Holy Communion Schedule

The Sacrament of Holy Communion will be offered on the following Sundays and Holidays: January 8; March 1 (Ash Wednesday) at 12 Noon & 7:00 p.m.; March 5; April 2; April 12 (Holy Wednesday) at 7:00 p.m.; April 13 (Maundy Thursday) at 7:00 p.m.; April 14 (Good Friday) at 1:oo p.m.; April 16 (Easter); May 7, June 4 (Day of Pentecost); August 6; September 3 ; October 1; November 5; and December 3. No Communion Services in February and July. 2:00 p.m. Communion Services in Chapel: April 2 and October 1.

Senior Club

Our final trip will take place on Thursday, December 8, when we travel to Dutch Apple to see “Holly, Jolly Christmas.”

Our Christmas Luncheon will take place at The Inn at Reading on Tuesday, December 13 at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased from Mary Jane Hoffman. Gerald Speicher will have your 2017 membership cards ($3 per person) and you will receive the 201 7 Brochures.

Trip sign-up will take place on Thursday, January 5. Doors open at 8:00 a.m., sign-up begins at 8:30.

The first Luncheon will take place on Tuesday, January 17. Meeting begins at 11:30, lunch is served at Noon and the entertainment will be provided by Pastor David Reinwald at 1:oo. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased from Pat Berger.

Gift certificates can be purchased throughout the year from Irene Stoudt. You may call her at 610-929-8275.

Souper Bowl Sunday

January 29, 201 7

This annual event raises money for local food pantries and soup kitchens. Please bring an extra dollar or two with you and drop it off in the soup kettles as you leave worship. All donations will be given to Alsace Soup Kitchen and the Muhlenberg Churches Food Pantry.

Sunday School Christmas Pageant

“God’s Gift”

Sunday, December 11, 2016, 9:30 a.m.

(snow date: December 18)

Held in the Bertha Weber Room

Presented by all the Sunday School Classes

Special Sunday School

Sunday, January 1, 2017

All classes will gather to watch a new Christmas movie

Refreshments will be served!

For All Ages!

Volunteers Needed at Muhlenberg Churches Food Pantry

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Alsace Lutheran Church is the host church for the January distribution of food at the Muhlenberg Churches Food Pantry on January 19. Volunteers are needed any time between the hours of 2:00 and 6:30 p.m. If you can help, please sign up on the sheet that will be posted on the bulletin board outside the church office. Thank You!

Wednesday Bible Study

The Wednesday Bible Study will resume on January 18, 2017 at 1:oo p.m . for a six-week study on Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. The study is titled, “THRIVE – Living in Real Joy. “

How to Become a Member of Alsace Lutheran Church

Speak to Pastor Nelson if you are interested in membership, or know someone who might be!

If you are already a member of a Lutheran Church – Simply call the church office (610-929-8727), give the secretary the name of your previous church, and we will request a Letter of Transfer.

If you are a member of another Christian Church – Simply contact the Pastor, and you will be invited to a New Member class, after which you will join Alsace by Affirmation of Faith.

Muhlenberg Churches Food Pantry

The MCFP continues to serve the needs of those in our community. Donations of the following items are most needed, as these items are not readily available from the Food Bank: toilet paper; paper towels; bath soap; laundry detergent; fabric softener; Kleenex; shampoo; toothpaste. Bring any donations to church and place in the box marked “Muhlenberg Churches Food Pantry. ” Thank you for your continued support of the MCFP!

Note from Pastor Charles Fair:

A most sincere “thank you” to all the members and friends of Alsace Lutheran Church that sent beautiful Birthday cards and many remembrances of when I served as your Pastor. The Lord has sustained me and I continually thank Him for a full and blessed life. May each of you faithfully continue to serve our Lord and Savior, Jesus, the Christ.

From the Family of Tim Latshaw (son-in-law of Lee & Barbara Strause)

As some of you may know, Tim is at the Hershey Medical Center for an extended period of time to receive chemo and a bone marrow transplant. Tim is going to have a tough 100 days after the transplant. It will also be a hard time for the family, traveling back and forth to Hershey.

If anyone is interested in sending Tim cards & letters or donating gift cards for the family (for groceries, fast food restaurants or gas), you may drop them off in the church office or you may give them to Barbara or Lee. Thank you, in advance, for your support!

Hospital Admissions

If you, or a family member, is admitted to the Reading Hospital, please let them know, when they are filling out your information, that you are a member of Alsace. This way the hospital will notify us, daily by email, what members are in the hospital and their room number.

Community Events

Please join the members of the Reading Choral Society, Coventry Singers, and the Berks Catholic High School Choir under the direction of RCS Music Director Graham Bier as they perform Handel’s MESSIAH on Saturday, December 3, 7 :00 p.m. at Emmanual Lutheran Church in Pottstown and on Sunday, December 4, 4 :00 p.m. at Berks Catholic High School, Reading. Tickets are $15 in advance/$20 at the door; students are $1 O. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 610-898-1939.

“A Light to Lighten” – Music and readings of the Season, with Opus One: Berks Chamber Choir Friday, December 9, 7 :30 p.m., at Atonement Lutheran Church in Wyomissing. For tickets, please call 610-898-7664.

The Greater Reading Encore Chorale and Blue Mt. Chorus will be presenting their Christmas Concert at Alsace Lutheran on Saturday, December 10 at 2:00 p.m. Both groups are under the direction of Dave Rutt.

Community Events, cont.

Heidelberg Concert Handbell Choir with Andrea Langkamer-Smith, organist and Hannah Langkamer-Smith, violinist, will take place at Union Lutheran Church, 5500 PA Route 873, Schnecksville on Saturday, December 10 at 4:00 p.m. (snow date will be Sunday, December 11). A free will offering will take place in lieu of a ticket. For more information, please call 484-553- 9037.


We will continue collecting the following items for the Reading High School and the Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program (ECYEH). Their goal is to provide a resource room that will be available to students. This room will offer provisions to fulfill their basic needs such as food, hygiene products and school supplies. If you are able to donate any of the following items, please place them in the Chapel foyer. Thank you!

Hygiene Products:shampoo conditioner; deodorant; toothbrush and toothpaste; liquid bath soap; feminine hygiene products; hairbrushes; make-up

School Supplies: binders and folders; pens and pencils; spiral ring notebooks; backpacks

Baby Supplies: baby food; formula; diapers; wipes; baby clothes Food: granola bars; Nutra grain bars; non-perishables; bottled water; ready to eat food; holiday meals

Miscellaneous: towels; clothing detergent; camping mats; pillows; Gift Cards for grocery stores, clothing stores and fast food; BARTA bus passes; barber shop; Goodwill gift cards for interview clothing; monetary donations made payable to RHS Knight Closet. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++JUST ONE REQUEST

-Unknown Author

Dear Master for this coming year

Just one request I bring;

I do not pray for happiness,

Or any earthly thing-

I do not ask to understand The

way Thou leadest me, But this

I ask: Teach me to do The thing

that pleaseth Thee.

 I want to know Thy guiding voice,

To walk with Thee each day.

Dear Master make me swift to hear

And ready to obey.

And thus the year I know begin

A happy year will be-

If I am seeking just to do The

thing that pleaseth Thee.

Dates for Your Calendar:

Sunday, December 4 – Holy Communion, 8:15 & 10:45 a.m.

Tuesday, December 6 – Senior Club Board Meeting, 9:00 a.m.

Thursday, December 8 – Senior Club Trip to Dutch Apple, 1o:oo a.m.

Friday, December 9 – FREE Babysitting, 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 1 O – GREC & Blue Mt. Chorus Christmas Concert, 2:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 11 – Sunday School Christmas Program, 9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, December 13 – Senior Club Christmas Luncheon, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Decem ber 13 – Church Council Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, December 14 – Soup Kitchen, 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 17 – Journey to Bethlehem at Woodcrest Retreat, 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 24 – Christmas Eve Family Service, 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, Decem ber 24 – Christmas Eve Traditional Candlelight Service, 11: p.m.

Sunday, December 25 – Christmas Day Worship, 8:15 only

Monday, December 26 – Office Closed

Monday, January 2 – Office Closed

Tuesday, January 3 – Senior Club Board Meeting

Thursday, January 5 – Senior Club Trip Sign-ups, 8:30 a.m.

Sunday. January 8 – Holy Communion, 8 :15 & 10:45 a.m.

Tuesday, January 10 – Church Council Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, January 17 – Senior Club Luncheon, 11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, January 18 – Bible Study, 1:oo p.m.

Wednesday, January 18 – Soup Kitchen, 5:00 p.m.

Friday, January 19 – Messenger Article Deadline

Wednesday, January 25 – Bible Study, 1:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 29 – Praise & Worship, 8:15 & 10:45 a.m.

Sunday, January 29 – Winterfest, 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, January 31 – Messenger Mailers, 5:oo a.m.

Wednesday, February 1 – Bible Study, 1 :00 p.m.

Friday, February 3 – Youth Group to Woodcrest Retreat 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 7 – Senior Club Board Meeting, 9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, February 8 – Bible Study, 1:oo p.m.

Friday, February 10 – Youth to Allentown Quake, 4:00 p.m.



12/ 1 – Scarlet Laity   12/ 20 – Gabrielle Ferling   12/28 – Mackenzie Homan   1/ 8 – Zachary Reinhard    1/ 15 – Tyrus Kauffman   1/23 – Julian Sharp    12/2 – Logan Rea   12/ 26 – Hunter Moyer                            1/ 1 – Gabriel Sharp   1/ 2 – Kyla Balley   1/ 17 – Jaden Kelly   1/ 24 -Angelina Garwood                           1/26 – Mary Pachulovv 12/ 12 – Cadence Hoke   12/ 26 – MaKenna Moyer   1/ 8 – Sydney Hartman           1/ 15 – Daegn Gehris   1/ 17 – Austin Swartley   1/ 31 – Zachary Warren ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Remember to sign up for all events on the sheets posted on the bulletin board outside the church office, or by responding to the Facebook Page.

Thursday, December 1 – Decorate the church for Christmas Meet at the church by 6:30 p.m. to help decorate the church for the Christmas season. It doesn’t take long if we have lots of help!

Friday, December 9 – Saturday, December 10 –  Advent Sleepover with Babysitting Meet at the church by 5:15 p.m. We will provide babysitting service from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. At 9:00 p.m. we will drive to “Christmas at First Energy Stadium.” We will then return to the church for snacks, devotions, games, movie, and sleepover. This is a free event for the youth!

Friday, December 23 Midnight Gladness at Shady Maple Meet at Alsace no later than 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, January 8 – Youth Meeting at 7:00 p.m. Come and help finalize plans for upcoming events in 2017.

Saturday, January 21 – Snow Tubing or Bowling Watch for more details as the winter unfolds.

Sunday, January 29 – Souper Bowl Sunday Volunteers are needed to stand at the exits following both worship services to hold soup kettles.See Pastor Nelson if you can help.

Friday, February 3 through Sunday, February 5 – Winter Retreat at Woodcrest Retreat Look for the registration form and get it in by January 22.

 Upcoming Dates for your Calendar:

• February 10-12Allentown Quake (registration due November 13)

• February 26 Faith & Family Night at the Reading Royals

• March 6 Youth Meeting (stuffing eggs for Egg Hunt)

• March 26 Laser Quest with Good Shepherd

• April 8 Easter Egg Hunt

• June 4 Church Camp Preview Day

• June 15-18 Shore Trip to Ocean City, NJ

• July 16 Peach Festival

• August 6-11 Church Camp

• August 26 Pool Party & Picnic at Woodcrest Retreat


The Supper Club was a success this year! We had between 20-25 people at every meal but one. Now it is time to plan for 2017. Listed below are restaurants that we have menus for. We will not meet in January, February and March in case we have bad weather. The entire restaurant bill will be on ONE CHECK, and there will be NO COUPONS allowed. If you are paying by check, please make the check payable to Alsace Youth Group. We will meet at the restaurant by 6:00 p.m. The dates for next year are: April 5 May 3 June 7 July 12 (because of the holiday) Aug. 2 Sept. 6 Oct. 4 Nov. 1 Dec. 6 Please pick your 9 choices either from the list below or you may add new suggestions. Also, if there was a place we went to this year that you would like to repeat, you may list them below. Deadline to sign up is Sunday, January 29th! Anthony Pizza, Wyomissing Mountain Springs/Captains Cove Austin’s On the Border Bella’s Pizzeria, Shillington Ozgood’s (Kutztown) Blue Marsh Italian Restaurant P J Wheilihan’s Coastal Grill Paolo’s, Shillington Cristina’s, Blandon Queen City Restaurant Dino’s Wings & Things Esposito’s Red Robin Route 61 Diner Exeter Family Restaurant Spuds. Kutztown 5th Street Diner Temple Restaurant Fiore’s, Fleetwood The Van Reed Inn Giannotti’s (Robesonia/Wyomissing) Tony’s Italian Restaurant, Topton Hoss’s Tosco Pizza, Robesonia Kauffman’s BBQ Valentino’s, Kutztown Kutztown Tavern Viva Longhorn Steakhouse Wegman’s Restaurant Massimo’s, Blandon Westy’s, Hamburg Mimmo’s (near Victor Emmanuel) William’s Family Restaurant


 TREASURERS REPORT FOR MONTH OF OCTOBER – 2016 INCOME FOR OCTOBER 2016 YTD 2015 YTD Current Income 16,064.40 147,497.62 14,938.53 149,861.03 Transfers in 8,554.89 152,907.04 0.00 454,121.08 Benevolence income 1,225.00 13,863.45 1,304.50 15,509.58 Alsace Cemetery 2,407.85 26,796.30 6,253.97 30,754.00 Social Ministry 242.00 3,175.62 217.00 4,197.51 Miscellaneous Income 671.00 13,694.29 20,947.00 34,846.88 TOTAL INCOME FOR OCTOBER $29,165.14 $357,934.32 $43,661.00 $689,290.08 I EXPENSES FOR OCTOBER 2016 YTD 2015 YTD Church Staff 13,998.13 153,879.56 13,714.14 141,751.26 Worship 1,613.75 23 ,909.46 825.08 19,154.97 Education 0.00 12,782.28 30.41 10,352 .96 Administration 3,341.85 24,322.55 4,902 .97 25,086.83 Property 9,077.66 49,887.52 3,939.77 56,559.58 Capital Improvement 4,000.00 4 ,000.00 14,115.00 Benevolence 711.00 11,229.00 899.00 22,940.35 I Social Ministry 242.00 3,176.62 20,217.00 24,197.51 I Transferred in from the following accounts Transferred Out Branch Bank.&Trust – Derr Estate 8,554.89 Tran. To BBT Trust (Endowmer) 20.00 Tran. To Savings (Foreign Missions) 164.00


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