by Paula Burke, Board Chair

When the Covid-19 virus disrupted our lives, we were in the process of submitting plans to the Elizabethtown Zoning Hearing Board for review for our building project. After a month's delay and two reschedules, the zoning hearing board met on June 8 and heard Etown COB's building presentation. The zoning hearing board voted unanimously in favor of the church's application.

Now what? We've got some exciting developments ahead of us. Elizabethtown College's Board of Trustees met in June and agreed unanimously to sell property adjacent to the church to us, for the cost of $1. The zoning hearing board's decision included this tentative plan, which will allow more existing green space to be retained. We'll be working out details in coming months and will present more information to the congregation when we finish our discussions with the college about mutual use of our facilities.

In terms of design and development, our architect is still continuing his work. Water permeability and weight bearing tests have been completed to determine the design parameters and stormwater management. The building committee is hoping to be in a position to move to a final presentation sometime in the fall of this year.

Finally, for those of you who have contributed to the Capital Campaign in support of the Building Project, thank you so much for your continuing support. Per our Treasurer, contributions to the building project totals $1,259,263 ($115,980 in 2020). Non-operating budget building project costs to date are $173,208 ($46,077 in 2020).

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by Paula Burke, Board Chair

We are so grateful for the work of our Reopening Work Group, made up of dedicated volunteers from our congregation, as well as staff members. They have been meeting and providing the church board with recommendations about next steps for our return to worship and other activities in our church building. At the July 13 board meeting, the church board reviewed the most recent recommendations from the Reopening Work Group. Although we discussed various options for return to physical worship in the building, the church board decided to continue virtual worship for the immediate future. We will discuss physical worship at our next church board meeting, scheduled for September 14. In the meantime, should you have any suggestions or questions about reopening, feel free to email

Video message from Paula Burke, Board Chair - Sunday, July 26

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by Amy Karr

As the Witness Commission and all church board members continue to thoughtfully plan how we can best serve our community and beyond, sometimes it is necessary to take “pause” on things in order to reassess if it is best serving our needs.

The Run for Peace is a beloved event that has been an opportunity for us to connect with the community and also openly proclaim our peace stance. After the 2019 run, Karin Laszakovits and Paula Knudsen Burke both decided to step down from planning the event so they can focus on their other priorities in the church. We are grateful to them and the other Run for Peace committee members—Kurt DeGoede & Stephanie Kardohely—who have provided countless volunteer hours to make this event successful. Due to the overwhelming number of 5k events in the area, the Witness Commission has decided to take a break from the Run of Peace in 2020. We believe that this will be a good opportunity for the commission and other church members to determine if/how this event should continue in the future and also determine if it is the best way to spread our message of peace.

Etown CoB relies heavily on volunteers to make every event/project successful. If you have a passion for a particular project or idea, please reach out to Amy Karr. The Witness Commission believes that 2020 will be an exciting year for our congregation! We look forward to sharing more with you in the months to come.

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Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren

777 South Mt Joy Street

Elizabethtown, PA 17022

Tel: 717-367-1000

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© 2018 Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren.