Blessing Our Preachers – Part 8

Tuesday Evening, June 6

I took a few pictures of my surrounding area as I waited for Cerwin to bring our guests to the table at Brickerville House Restaurant.

This time we enjoyed an evening with Dave and Shawn (next to Cerwin) and the family from church they wanted to get to know better – Glendon, Denise and their son Brayden. Glendon and Denise also have two young daughters who were enjoying an evening with cousins.

David is our Elder-In-Charge. He and Shawn have a married son and daughter, two daughters at home, and a grandson.

We had a great evening getting to know each person better. Our time ended rather soberly when, close to the end of our visit, we were notified that Alice, a church member who was in the hospital, had taken a turn for the worse.

We stopped to pray and Dave and Shawn left to call the family. We talked a bit longer with Glendon and Denise before heading home.

PS: Alice Bross is doing better, but her health is still a bit fragile. She and her family would appreciate your prayers.


If this is the first time you are reading about our church congregation’s involvement in blessing our preachers in 2017 – go to the top of this post where it says “search”, enter the word preachers and hit enter to read about our previous seven restaurant experiences.

Blessing Our Preachers – Part 7

Wednesday Evening, May 24

This time we were blessing Ron and Brenda Copenhaver (next to Cerwin) and they invited Derrick and Linda Negely as a couple from church that they would like to get to know better. We invited the Negley’s to bring their children. They have eight children (and expect a new one in July). They decided to only bring Mason, Halie, and Pearce. Linda’s parents (Dale and Lucille) kept some of the others.

We had a good time getting to know everyone a bit better and enjoyed a great setting as the only people in the Garden Room of Brickerville House Restaurant.

Linda’s spinach pie.

Someone’s dessert


If this is the first time you are reading about our church congregation’s involvement in blessing our preachers in 2017 – go to the top of this post where it says “search”, enter the word preacher and hit enter to read about our previous six restaurant experiences.

Blessing Our Preachers – Part 6

Tuesday Evening, May 2

What a delight to have supper with another one of our preachers – Merv Groff – second from left and his wife, Rachel. They chose Ed and Joy Weaver and their children, Sophia, Edward, and baby Vivian as the family from church that they would like to get to know better.

We learned a bit more about bulk food distribution (Merv works for Dutch Valley Food Distributors) and Ed is COO/Candy & Snacks Buyer for Weaver Nut Company. I am not sure of Merv’s job title, but I remember him saying that he enjoys bringing satisfaction to a customer who is frustrated about something.

Merv loved connecting with Sophia, who is a delightful little girl, and making her laugh. At one point she said to her parents, “This was such a fun way to end the day.”

I agree with her.

It was also a delicious way to end the day.


If this is the first time that you are reading about our church congregation’s involvement in blessing our preachers in 2017 – go to the top of this post where it says “search”, enter the word preacher and hit enter to read about our previous five restaurant experiences.

Helping a Church Member

Tuesday, April 18

Cerwin took these pictures with his cell phone.

Several from our Sunday school class and church helped prepare this small farm for sale.

Harold’s wife, Doris, died a few months ago, and he is not doing well emotionally, and needed help.

I was not able to be there, and Cerwin said these few pictures do not depict the number of friends who spent the day helping.

Pray for Harold and his family – and those at church who are responsible for helping them.

Blessing Our Preachers ~ Part 5

Wednesday Evening, April 12

Cerwin, Carl, Nancy, Broc, Braden, Bonnie, and Steve

We were pleased to get our favorite table (Table 25) at Brickerville House Restaurant when we blessed Carl and Nancy Groff with a restaurant meal – and their choice of a family from our church that they would like to get to know better – Steve and Bonnie Ressler and their sons Broc and Braden.

We had a great evening discussing jobs, family, and dirt bike racing. 🙂

I enjoy the red beet salad at this restaurant.

Cerwin and I both got Hog Maw – Pennsylvania Dutch for stuffed pig stomach. These were stuffed with sausage and potatoes. We obviously did not get the entire stomach, but slices of it.

You can buy pig stomachs in certain grocery stores in our area and stuff them with your choice of items – usually sausage and potatoes. Some people add carrots, onions, or cabbage.

My mother used to promise a pig stomach meal to Cerwin whenever she had a job for him to do – especially working on her propane gas stove. 🙂

Broc and Braden ordered hamburgers that were quite large. We were all wondering how they were going to open their mouths wide enough to take the first bite.

It was a delicious, delightful evening.


If you need to be refreshed on the previous four posts on blessing our preachers. Go to the top of this page and enter the word “preachers” in the search area – then hit enter.

Blessing Our Preachers – Part 4

Thursday Evening, March 23

We were seated in the Garden Room at Brickerville House Restaurant on the evening we blessed Marv and Sue Shenk (back left and right). We chose Brian and Amy Heisey as a family from our church that we would like to know better.

Clockwise – left to right: Marv, Brian, Amy, Berwyn, Andrea, me, Amanda, and Sue.

Marv and Sue own a peach orchard, so we learned more about the work involved with that. One interesting thing Marv said is that when he and their son, Doug, prune trees, Doug always does the south side of the trees and Marv always trims the north side. He is not sure why, but it is how they always do it.

Sue and I learned that we both got very involved in our heritage with or My this past winter. We both traced family back to Germany and Switzerland during the time when our ancestors were being jailed and persecuted.

Amy enjoys reading and homeschooling their children and grew up on a farm in Illinois. She and Brian met in Bible school. Amanda said she would rather cook than clean. Andrea and Berwyn quietly listened to our chatter while coloring their placemats.

Brian works for Martin Appliance and enjoys repairing appliances and most mechanical things that need fixed. He told a funny story of needing a part for their home air conditioner.

He was pleased to find just what he needed on EBay. I think it was the next day when one of his coworkers asked how he wanted his air conditioner part shipped. It was coming from a Martin Appliance warehouse. 🙂

They have two older children and have named all the boys with a name beginning with the letter B and all the girls with the letter A – maybe because it matches their names – Brian and Amy.

We all exclaimed over Marv and Sue’s delicious-looking chicken pies.


Oh, what a delightful way to spend an evening.


If you do not know or remember why we are blessing our nine preachers, enter the word preacher in the search section on the top right of this entry. It should bring up the three previous evenings we spent with preachers and other couples from our church.

Blessing Our Preachers ~ Part 3

Thursday Evening, March 9

We enjoyed the beautiful sunset as we drove to Brickerville House Family Restaurant to bless another preacher and his wife.

If you missed the reason we are doing this, enter the word “preacher” in the search box at the top right of this entry. Hit enter and read my first two entries on this series.

One thing I like about Brickerville House for our “blessing meals” is that it easy to reserve a specific table in a quiet area of the restaurant.

We were pleased to arrange this meal to bless Jim and Faye Myer (left) and when we asked them to choose a couple from church who they would like to learn to know better, they chose Steve and Emily Alwine.

We had a great evening, talking about our lives, enjoying supper – and discussing hearing aids. Steve and Cerwin wear hearing aids and Faye thinks Jim needs one. 🙂

Jim knows the owner of the restaurant, so we enjoyed talking with him a bit, especially about the interesting history. He said there is an area in the basement where horses used to be stabled – back in the day when travelers used horses.


Doing these “blessing our preacher meals” is so delightful for us.

Blessing our Preachers ~ Part 2

Monday, February 20

You may remember that Cerwin and I joined many others in our church congregation who are doing something special in 2017 to bless our preachers.

We have chosen to take each preacher and his wife out for supper, and asked them to choose another couple from church that they do not know real well.

This time it was Luther and Joann Patches – center – and they chose Jeff & Juanita Crouse as the couple they would like to have with us for supper.

We had a great time getting to know each person a bit better and hearing about the passions of their hearts.

We were at Lititz Family Cupboard.

A Year of Blessing

Tuesday, January 31

Three young couples from our church felt led to challenge the people of our congregation – White Oak Church of the Brethren – to spend 2017 in blessing our preachers.

Cerwin and I knew immediately that we wanted to participate by choosing a specific week to pray for each of our nine preachers and their wife by signing up on the online spreadsheet.

The second part of “Operation Bless” was choosing a month to bless each preacher and his wife.

That is how we found ourselves traveling to Oregon Dairy on Monday evening during a pretty sunset.

The first preacher on the spreadsheet was Sam Cassel and his wife, Miriam.

When we talked to them the other Sunday morning, and told them our plan to take each preacher and his wife out for a meal and have them choose another couple from church – that they don’t know very well – to go along.

Miriam chose Oregon Dairy as her restaurant of choice. They told us to choose the other couple.

Because she has Parkinson’s Disease, we had offered to take a meal to their house, but she chose to go to a restaurant.

Sam and Miriam are on the right. (Our waitress took the pictures for me.)

Our congregation is fairly large, so it is easy to never get to know some people. Vernon and Jeana Martin (left) are one of those couples. I didn’t even know their names when I talked to Jeana on Sunday morning. 🙂

Vernon owns his own excavating company, so this was a good week for them to go out for supper. Winter is not always busy for excavators. Jeana and I discovered that we have a lot in common. Cooking is not one of our favorite things to do and we enjoy counted cross stitch. Cerwin and Vernon enjoyed talking about some of their hunting experiences.

Of course we all talked about children and grandchildren.

My supper was lobster stew in a bread bowl. Yum!

We had a great evening – learning about each other. We were still there when most of the other diners had gone home. 🙂

It was interesting to learn about Sam and Miriam’s challenges in living with her Parkinson’s Disease and fun to hear some of Sam’s experiences in learning to cook. (Ask him about making lemon sponge pie.)

They are certainly living their journey with grace.

Sam is retired from preaching, but fills in for someone now and then or takes a turn in preaching during a specific series.

My coconut cream pie.

Our plan was to bless Sam and Miriam and learn to know Vernon and Jeana, but I think we were the most blessed.

Ladies Fellowship ~ Part 3

Saturday, January 21

Jess introduced and prayed for Barb and Joan before they spoke to us on the subject: Joy? In This Mess!

Joan (the younger sister) spoke first – giving us many reasons to smile.

She and Barb took turns throughout the morning as they shared subjects like: Joy in the Mundane, Joy in Hard Places, Joy in Sorrow, Spreading Joy.

Joy is a deep abiding presence.

Learning to laugh at ourselves.

She shared the funniest story of the day when she recalled a time when one of her children answered the phone and handed it to her saying, “It’s Dad.”

Joan though it strange that he was calling, since he had just left the house for a hunting trip. She answered with some sweet – husband/wife – talk.

There was a long silence – then a young, single man from their church responded, “No one ever talked to me like that.” 🙂

She said they still laugh about it now and then.

Remember God’s faithfulness.

Focus on Joy

Comparison is a joy robber: If only I had what she has. If only my children were as well behaved as hers. If only…if only.

This picture was put on the screen to make us smile.

At first I thought it was from a mission trip to a first nations reserve in Canada in the ’80s when Joan was with our team, but mine is a bit different.

Pain is not the enemy of Joy.

Enjoy laughter


A skit about listening to negative or positive input with Anna, Joan, and Ruthie.

Every now and then Barb entered the room “singing in the rain.”

They closed the skit by joining in a song about “singing in the rain.”

Spreading Joy does not require money.

Choose “front row joy.”

The last subject was Joy in Sorrow

During this section she shared the story of a man who was a refiner of silver.

When the man was asked how he knew when the silver is finished, he said, “When I can see my reflection in it.”

That what God wants from us. He wants to see His reflection in us.

They closed by praying a prayer of joy and blessing on the ladies in the audience.

Kim made a few closing remarks before dismissing us.

It was a fabulous morning. Thanks to the committee, cooks, and Barb and Joan.

We were treated like queens.