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United Church of Christ
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285 West National Drive
Newark, Ohio 43055
(740) 323-2407


Pastor's message

2018 April message

Dear Members and Friends:

From time to time, I’ve been asked when I felt the calling to be a pastor. The call came during my senior year at Oberlin College and was further explored with the campus minister and by looking at seminary catalogues in his office.

But, I had already begun thinking about the ministry years before, when my friends from the neighborhood and I had church services. Our sanctuary was the back porch and our communion table, a TV tray. The elements consisted of Necco® Wafers and Grape Kool-Aid®.

This experience was more than child’s play to us. It was a sacred and worshipful moment. It became even more so when my dad made us a little altar to use for our services.

Since my first Sunday here in January of 2009, our communion table in the chapel was a piano bench - until a few weeks ago. On March 4th, we dedicated a communion table, straight from Don Handel’s workshop. Don’s table has already made our chapel services even more sacred and worshipful.

On that same Sunday, we also dedicated a couple of pictures. One is the well-known and beloved “Christ at Heart’s Door” donated by Sylvia Yaekle. It is hanging above the piano.

The other is on the table at the chapel entrance, where worshippers sign in. It is a portrait of Christ watching over us like a Shepherd watching over his flock. It was donated by Mary Lou Hostetler and belonged to her daughter Lynn Edgington, who went home to be with the Lord last summer.

Have you visited the chapel at St. John’s lately? Whoever you are and wherever you are on your faith’s journey, our members, friends and visitors are always welcome to stop by and sit a spell. Come by here to worship. Come by here to pray, reflect, listen and “hear what God the Lord will speak. For he will speak peace to his people.” (Psalm 85:8)

In Christ’s love,

Rev. Mark

Rev. Mark Katrick