Imitatio Christi

When Jesus came to the River Jordan to be baptized by John, he demonstrated a number of important things to us. 

First, through his act of humility, he makes an identification with the Suffering Servant of the book of Isaiah, who establishes justice and righteousness, and who with gentleness proclaims the powerful grace of God. Through his commitment to “fulfilling all righteousness” he makes an identification with the long-awaited “righteous Branch” of David foretold by the prophet Jeremiah. In this simple act of humble obedience, Jesus tells us so much about himself.

But he also tells us something about us. For in defining his identity as one who fulfills all righteousness, he reminds us that we are called to that same work. The task of a Christian is not simply to be one who claims the name of Jesus, but one who embodies Jesus in a broken and hurting world. Our imitation of Christ will be far more transformative for the world than our simple declaration of Christian identity. 

As we contemplate Jesus‘ baptism and remember our own, we remember, too, our call to be a covenant to the people, to be a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and from the prison those who sit in darkness—to commit, as Jesus did, to fulfilling all righteousness.

Rev. Mark Schaefer, Pastor


Thanks to everyone who participated in worship services Sunday. Thanks to David Rawlings for leading us in worship and for reading our scripture lessons, and to Chiara Griffith and the Choir for providing our beautiful music.
         Sermon: “Fulfilling All Righteousness”  Rev. Mark Schaefer
         Sunday’s attendance: 38
         Collection: $ 1,574.85

NEXT SUNDAY SERVICES, JANUARY 19, 2020, 10:00 a.m.
Sermon: “A Light to the Nations” Rev. Mark Schaefer
Scripture Lessons: Isaiah 49:1–7; John 1:29–42

Want to help out in worship? Use our online sign-up to be a greeter, usher, liturgist, lector, or communion server.

Community Events & Information

Monday, January 13, 2020, 7:00 p.m., Furgang Hall

Now that the new pastor has settled in and the holidays are behind us, we have set a date for the first council meeting of 2020, this Monday, January 13, 2020 at 7 p.m. All are welcome to attend the meeting. Proposed agenda Items:
  • Thank our outgoing leaders and welcome the new leaders - committee meeting dates and goals
  • Update on the sustainability coaching sessions: tailoring a vision statement for Cheltenham and making a strategic plan for the next few years.
  • Progress on the kitchen renovation plans
  • Plans for parsonage
  • Yearly calendar items 
  • Ideas for new ministries and programs
Contact: Crystal Reed,
Thursday, January 16, 10:00 a.m.

We join Alice Roberson in her grief over the death of her son Jeffrey this past week. There will be a funeral this Thursday morning, beginning with a viewing at 10 a.m., the funeral service at 11 a.m., the interment at noon, followed by a repast back at the church.  
Contact: Rev. Mark Schaefer,

Beginning soon, Rev. Schaefer will be offering a weekly Bible study. The text for the study has not been decided, so if you are interested and would like to vote on some possible options, visit the SurveyMonkey poll to let him know your opinion! Watch this space for details and updates.
Contact: Rev. Mark Schaefer,

Have you ever wanted to join the fast-paced world of church ushering? Or have you ever been intrigued by the action around serving the eucharist? Or have you ever thought to yourself, “I’m good at reading—I bet I’d be great at reading aloud!”? Then we have the opportunities for you! Sign up to help out in worship as a greeter, usher, liturgist, lector, or communion server. We have set up a quick and easy sign-up sheet online. You can also email Pastor Mark at the email address below.
Contact: Rev. Mark Schaefer,

Regular Weekly Calendar

  • Monday
    • Monday Methodists, 9 a.m.
    • Knitting Circle, 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday
    • Cheltenham Academy, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
    • Pastor’s Office Hours, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
    • AA and Al-Anon, 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday
    • SLOGGS Meeting, 11:30 a.m.
    • Pastor’s “Office” Hours, 2–4 p.m.
    • Band, 6 p.m.
    • Choir Rehearsal, 7 p.m.
  • Friday
    • Pastor’s Sabbath
  • Sunday
    • Sunday School, 9 a.m.
    • Sunday Worship, 10 a.m.
    • Fellowship, 11 a.m.

Prayer List

Alice Roberson, mourning the death of her son Jeff
Elsie and Chuck Taylor, in the hospital
The friends and family of Ronnie Carroll, mourning his death
Joanne, going in for a heart stent test
Nancy, recovering from surgery
Melissa, recovering from a car accident
The Werner family, facing illnesses
Linda, recovering from a car accident
Richard, undergoing chemotherapy
Traveling mercies for Sarah
The people of Australia experiencing wildfires
Those in the armed services soon to be deployed abroad, and their families
The friends and family of Jennifer Creech, mourning her death
The Sawez family, mourning the death of their father Ehsan
Michael Kidwell, in need of surgery after a fall
Ellie, in need of a hip replacement
Marilyn, recovering from a heart attack
The family of baby Lindley, at St. Jude's

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