Welcome to the ANE District's new publication called "Know Your Neighbor"!  This publication is designed to give you some intimate information about the many churches within our large district.  It is intended to be a fun way of sharing a part of their story as we all are called to continue the work of Jesus.   Enjoy!
Connecting Our Community Under The Canopy Of Christ
  Little Swatara
Little Swatara is located at 31 Rehrersburg Rd, Bethel, PA.
Pastor:  Matthew Christ

Membership:  265
Worship:  185
Church School: 104
Get to Know Us!
What is your congregation most passionate about?

A:  We are passionate about sharing Christ with our community.  We are passionate about helping others to feel welcome to worship with us.   We want to be a good influence in the community. We  have sound Biblical preaching and believe in the power of prayer. We are passionate about being good stewards of the land and resources.   
What ministry excites you most?

A:  We have several ministries that excite us -- The Gathering Place --- a coffee shop which offers a breakfast menu and place to gather; Vacation Bible School; Our Preschool Program; and Mission Trips.
How would you describe your congregation?

A:   Musical; welcoming, friendly, willing to help others; "intergenerational"   We have active women's fellowship and men's fellowship. The men have monthly prayer meeting on 4th Saturday of the month at a local restaurant.  The women meet for quilting on Thursday morning every week and also have monthly business meetings.  They have numerous fund raisers throughout the year. 
If you were not in your community, what would be missing?

A:   Outreach in the community; a place where community organizations use space to gather.  A member responded  -- "the church members are all my family (not biological) and I would miss them";  Exercise classes with Jamie (which are open to the community in addition to our membership).
What are your congregation's five favorite hymns or choruses?

A:  Our congregation loves to sing many songs from the hymnal as well as learn new worship and praise types of songs.  Some of the favorites are Praise God from Whom; Amazing Grace; Healer of Our Every Ill; How Great is Our God; Thy Word; Guide my Feet; To God Be the Glory.   The list could go on.  We enjoy a cappella singing as well as use of a variety of instruments. 
What do people say they like best about your church?

A: Coffee bar on Sunday morning;  warm welcome; our pastor's sermons: the large wooden cross and the stone wall in the front of the church.
If someone was to ask you to tell them about your congregation's vision for ministry, what would you tell them?

A: Our vision statement is:   "Dynamically multiplying opportunities for Christ centered growth and service."
What mission efforts has your congregation been involved in recently?

A: Trip to Haiti; Disaster Ministry Trips; Assist with running of Local Food Pantry along with other churches in the community; Women complete a quilt for disaster relief auction.
Share a Fun Fact about your church:

A: Little Swatara is located in farming country -- to the north is a beautiful view of the Blue Mountain and farm fields are adjacent to our parking lot.    The sunrises and sunsets are beautiful when viewed from outside of the church.  You can truly witness the beauty of God's creation when you are at the church.  Pastor Matt has the ability to do various voices including Elmo and even freestyle rap. He has a tendency to talk fast and can auctioneer.     -Our coffee bar offers enticing free trade coffee flavors including such tastes as African Roots, Congo and Mind Body & Soul to name a few.deacons have started sponsoring a quarterly fellowship breakfast!  
Describe your youth and young adult ministries:

A: Our Youth are active -- they meet monthly; hold fundraisers to raise money to attend National Youth Conference; do a yearly mission trip for disaster relief --- they have participated in rebuilding of homes; hold Soup and Sandwich luncheons for congregation; Summer Volleyball League; raising money for COBYS through participation in the Bike and Hike.   We have Sunday School Classes that target Young Adults and young married couples with young children.   Our young families get together for social activities. 
What is the title of a book or video series that your congregation has recently used and would suggest to other congregations/small groups?

A: We have recently done a marriage enrichment series. 
What is a favorite or well loved food at your congregational meal events?  Is there a special recipe that you can share for this food?

A: We don't have a favorite food -- we enjoy a variety of foods -- especially enjoy covered dish meals.   We have a congregation full of talented cooks and bakers. 
What is your congregation's favorite annual event?

A: Christmas Eve Services;  Tractor Show, Vacation Bible School 
In what way has ANE assisted your church?

A: ANE district, particularly the district executive, has offered solid answers and Biblically sound advice for arising questions pertaining to ministry and numerous "how are you doing" phone calls to the pastor. The district is readily available and a quick response when resources are requested such as the latest downloads for marriage advice.