Whoever you are and wherever you are on life's journey, you are welcome in this place!
Our Mission: To Welcome All People, Share Christ's Love for One Another, and Help to Make Christ Visible in Daily Life
Jerusalem Western Salisbury
3441 Devonshire Road
Allentown, PA 18103
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Office: 610-797-4242 or 610-791-4979
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Happy 275th Anniversary! In May of 2016 we celebrate the past, present and future of Jerusalem Western Salisbury Church on our Anniversary Day, Sunday, May 1, with a special Worship Service and Banquet to follow on the "Triangle." Since there is no particular date that the first log church was built in 1741, we chose the Sunday closest to Ascension Day because it was the day that the cornerstone of the third church was laid in 1819.
One of the things that will be taking place during the worship service will be a renewal of the "Shared Ministry Covenant," which was for many years an annual event. This Covenant grew out of the desire of the two congregations to think in a new way after a vote was taken in 1993 to not split the Union Church. As I have mentioned before, I believe that this new spirit of cooperation was a direct result of the 250th Anniversary Year Celebration in 1991. The 250th Anniversary Committee made it a point to emphasize the Union Church Heritage of the congregations in 1991. The motto for the year was "Abiding Ecumenical Christian American Heritage." And in almost every month of 1991, at least one special Joint worship service was planned, where both congregations worshiped together at the same service.
Norman G. Schaffer, a "Shared Ministry" Visionary
This may not seem unusual to us today, 25 years later, as many of our services are blended. However, except for the occasional special service, things were quite different 25 years ago. This was the time when we were a Union Church; so that one week, the Lutheran service was at 8:00 and the UCC service was at 10:30; the following week, it switched. Sometimes UCC members would go to the Lutheran service or vice-versa, but this was the exception rather than the rule. Then the 250th Anniversary Year came and things began to change. The members interacted in a common celebration of our Union heritage and enjoyed themselves doing so. In particular, Norman G. Schaffer of Emmaus, a member of the 250th Anniversary Committee, had a vision for the future in which the congregations more fully embraced that common ecumenical heritage. He worked tirelessly for the cause of seeing his vision come to fruition in the form of Shared Ministry. This was accomplished through the Shared Ministry Task Force, of which Norman was a member. The work of this Task Force culminated in December 1997, when the congregations voted to enter into the new and exciting Shared Ministry. On January 25, 1998, the special Joint worship service celebrated our new Shared Ministry with a sermon entitled "Spirit Led, Hope Driven" by the Rev. Dr. Horace Sills, who served as a consultant for the Shared Ministry Task Force. At that service, an Affirmation of the Shared Ministry Covenant was recited by a leader (Dr. Sills the first year) with responses by the Congregation. Norman even had a plaque made with the text of the Affirmation on it.
Shared Ministry Covenant Plaque
I appreciate the positive responses to my articles. If you have a curiosity about our church and its history, please contact me through the church office or at Finkyx@aol.com.
Joshua Arthur Fink, Historian