GRACE This Week

27 years ago, you began a partnership with Manuela and Juan Kauer serving as missionaries in Argentina. Then 12 years ago, the partnership deepened – you welcomed Manuela as your pastor for congregational life and care, and then your pastor for mission and outreach. Manuela has led all of us with her pastor’s heart and her love for Jesus and his mission in the world. In her letter below, Manuela shares with us that God is leading her to a new season of ministry.

Dear Friends and Co-Workers in God’s Kingdom,

How can I summarize the richness of my ministry among you and the depth of our relationship as God opened the door to serve you first as a Mission Partner in Buenos Aires, Argentina for 15 years with my family, and then as your Associate Pastor for more than 12 years?

Within our Reformed tradition, I know that it is quite unusual and a real gift to me that I have been able to serve you – the initial congregation that nurtured my faith and encouraged and developed my pastoral call. I have learned tremendously from you as you have allowed me to pray for you, to intercede on your behalf to the Father, to care for and visit you, to grow in discipleship through Bible studies and retreats, to teach and to challenge you to share your faith as you reached out to your families and friends, your community and even the world! We have served well Bethlehem and the Lehigh Valley through our local partners as well as our own outreach: Serve Day, Monthly service opportunities, Feed Bethlehem, El Camino Fellowship in the Southside, Freemansburg Elementary School as well as Grow-A-Row partnerships to name a few. Together, we have loved and cared for our partners in Costa Rica and more than a dozen missionaries sharing the Good News of the Gospel in the four corners of the world. What a journey we have shared together. God is so good.

With these treasured memories in my heart, it is bittersweet to share this news. As this year started, I took the time to discern my call and I know that God is now guiding me into a new season in my ministry. I invite your prayers as Juan and I continue to discern our next steps together. The time has come to be on a journey that will take us apart but never separate us from the friendship and love that God has given us. My last day as your pastor will be August 31st and I look forward to opportunities to remember and celebrate all that we have shared together.

I thank God for you and will continue to pray for you as you continue to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. And I am grateful for the ties that will bind us together now and for eternity.

Your Sister in Christ,

Pastor Manuela Kauer

We will celebrate Manuela and her ministry with us on Sunday, August 22, with a reception immediately following the 9:45 am service. I invite you to bring notes and cards expressing your thanks to the reception. You may also mail them to the church. In addition, if you would like to contribute to a financial gift for Manuela, you may send a check to the church with “Manuela gift” in the memo line or make a gift online by CLICKING HERE.

On Sunday, we continue in our sermon series, In-Training. Mark will preach on “Talking to the Trainer”. As C.S. Lewis writes, prayer is a life-changing need that we have as believers.

“I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God. It changes me.”      ― C.S. Lewis

We get a lot of help from scripture – Jesus teaches us how to pray. The Psalms is a book of prayers. Paul gives us all kinds of prayers in his letters. At the Classic service, we will baptize one of our newest GRACE little ones.

Finally, a word of thanks for your very generous giving to our Brown Bag Initiative. With a few bags that came in early in the week. You gave a record 305 bags (plus over 600 dollars)! Thank you for loving the Lehigh Valley in Jesus’ name – helping address food insecurity.

It is a privilege to be…

Your Pastor and Friend,

Dr. Marnie Crumpler
Senior Pastor