POTTSTOWN — The Rev. John Smolik will conduct his last sermon as pastor of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church on Sunday, Dec. 27, with members viewing the service via YouTube and Facebook.

Serving the congregation for 50 years, he recently said at the anniversary celebration: “It’s a very loving and warm congregation. My family felt at home here from the start.”

Ordained in 1968, Pastor Smolik began ministering at Grace Lutheran Church Norristown. In May 1970, he accepted a call from St. Peter’s congregation with the intention of remaining for at least five years. He, his young wife, and son settled into the newly-constructed church parsonage on Berks Street. Their family grew as did their life within the parish and the Pottstown community.

Over the years, he has served as president of the Pottstown Clergy Association, PMMC Chaplain Advisory Committee, Dean of the Upper Montgomery Lutheran Conference, Board of Pottstown VNA, Home Health Care Board of Berks County, Oxy-Chem Tri-County Community Advisory Panel.

He shared this message with the congregation: “It is a great honor of my life that you have trusted me with your stories and life transitions, and that you have invited me to share the Gospel with you. You have entrusted me with this responsibility, and I am grateful. You have shaped me as a pastor, and I will not forget it. You have affirmed and encouraged me as a leader, and I am humbled. I give thanks for the many years we have been together.”

Pastor Smolik is well-known for his pastoral and hospital visits. His challenging and nurturing sermons and Bible Studies were well received by its members. The church’s Capital Campaign — $330,000 — continues to challenge members as it successfully completed such projects as installing a rubberized, insulated roof, and the recent addition of insulated windows and walls in the Christian Education building.

Pastor Smolik has said to church members he will miss them, especially since personal farewells were limited due to the pandemic restrictions.

The pastor and his wife Joanne will continue to reside in North Coventry as will their son, Chris and his children. Their daughter and son-in-law reside in Norristown.

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