Welcome to Saint Paul’s!

St. Paul’s is a different kind of church.  We’re not a large megachurch with a sound stage and a suped-up production machine, but we strive to be a church full of authentic followers of Jesus.  No matter how you come to visit us, we pray you’ll find clear examples of God’s love, whether through us or through our ministries – but hopefully both!

You might be excited about finding a church to belong to, or you might be a bit fearful from bad church experiences in the past. Either way, if you are looking for a church that focuses on creating spiritual fruits, not religious nuts, then you have come to the right place!

I hope the information on this website will help you get to know us, whether you’re an online or in-person visitor. Feel free to email me if you have any further questions that are not covered here.
 
Our Mission statement at St. Paul’s says a lot about who we are and what we do:

 

As a Christian family of faith,
Saint Paul’s affirms God’s love by
transforming lives,
connecting generations,
impacting our community & world,
and
making disciples for Jesus Christ.

October 2019

October is the only month of the year that all the “big four” North American Sports Leagues schedule games. In October, the NBA begins basketball, the NHL is about one month into hockey, and both the National Football League and Major League Baseball are in full swing. In fact, there have been 19 days in which all four leagues have played games on the same day – something sports writers have called a “sports equinox.” It’s also interesting to note that the Canadian Football League and Major League Soccer are also playing games during this month, both approaching the ends of their respective regular seasons.
A lot of churches experience the same thing during this month too! It’s Charge Conference season, the Budget for the new year is getting planned out and many churches are doing some sort of Stewardship activity. Also, planning for fall festivals, pumpkin patches, Church School Open Houses and Trunk-or-Treats are going full-bore. Behind the scenes, the worship folks are already finalizing Advent and Christmas.
As we begin this latter-year lively-ness here at St. Paul’s, we begin this month with World Communion Sunday on October 6th, where we celebrate the worldwide church and our fundamental celebration of the Lord’s Supper. If you’ve got some sort of “traditional dress” that marks your heritage or nationality, you’re invited to wear it as we celebrate! October 7th marks our Charge Conference, connecting with other churches in our Mission Field as well as the larger United Methodist Church, certifying connectional items such as new candidates for ordained ministry, pastoral salary, and new officers for the coming year. We’ll be holding ours with the other churches of Mission Field Peter at Nueva Vida Central UMC at 7pm.  All members of St. Paul’s are welcome to come!
October also marks our annual “Trunk or Treat” for our community on October 27th here on the church grounds.  If you’re decorating a trunk for the event, please see the Trunk-or-Treat article for more detailed instructions! Last year we had over 500 people from our community come and get to know our church family!
Just at the beginning of November there is All Saints Sunday, this year on November 3rd during our morning worship. This solemn remembrance is a powerful way to remember our loved ones and friends who have gone to their eternal home during the past year. I hope you’ll choose to come and be a part of this important month in the life of St. Paul’s!
With the Peace of Christ,
Robert



Turning the page …

If you’re like me, then these calendar shifts in the year make you evaluate your life. While not as intensive as Lenten commitments, the summer is usually a time when I tend to think about these things, following my birthday in July and the new school year in August. I begin asking myself questions like: How am I doing in practicing my Christian faith? Are there any books I want to read? How am I doing emotionally? Are there relationships I need to repair, renew, or begin? Are there certain habits I want to recommit myself to, or certain things I’ve begun doing that I need to eliminate from my life? This summer I began to look for new resources to help me in preaching from the lectionary (which is a new thing for me). With a set series of readings each week, the lectionary gives you a “menu” of scripture each week to read and reflect upon, not just for a sermon but for anyone looking to develop or strengthen a regular scripture reading habit. In searching for resources, I’ve found some great material for devotions and reading based on the lectionary that I wanted to pass on to you if you are searching for a good habit to start in this new school year. If you have a smart phone, then podcasts can be a great way for you to listen to the Bible or to reflections based upon the week’s lectionary readings. One of my new favorites is “This Week’s Lectionary with the CEB,” which is a reading of the week’s Scriptures, plain and simple. Another is “Lectionary Lab Live,” which is technically meant for preachers but is really useful for anyone looking for fun and light-hearted Bible inspiration during the week. I also bought a new Bible this summer, a “CEB Lectio Divina Prayer Bible” to help me use this ancient Bible Reading practice more effectively in my life. Lectio Divina is a great way to systematically read and reflect on the Bible, and this edition is set up in sections to read prayerfully and actively. While I know I won’t always preach from the lectionary, I’ve found it has enriched my spiritual life greatly; and I hope these resources will help you in your walk with Christ as well! I’m here to help, and please let me know if there are resources that have helped you along the way!   

With the Peace of Christ,

Robert  



New Beginnings

August promises to be a wonderful month in the life of St. Paul’s, full of new beginnings and new life! On August 11th we’ll start the new school year by collecting supplies for Tools for Teaching, Blessing Backpacks and School Bags for all students and school staff. Tools for Teaching is in great need this year and we hope you’ll help this great organization that stocks school supplies for teachers and students.

In August we’ll confirm the remainder of our confirmands from Confirmation Camp and celebrate with them after church. Colin Elfring was confirmed on July 28th, and on August 18th we’ll confirm Celina Stafford, Layla Watson, and Dylan Watson. All four of our Confirmands participated in Confirmation Camp from July 21-24 with Zion United Methodist Church. There were a total of six youth participating, and each was given a confirmation sponsor from their local church to be their adult faith partner during this process and beyond.

The week following Confirmation Sunday, on August 25, we will baptize one of our children, Charlie Didia, as he has made the decision to accept Jesus Christ at a very young age and we are excited for what God has ahead of him in his life. Charlie’s parents are Amanda and Jon Didia, and Charlie is a graduate of our Christian School!

With all these new things starting, it’s easy to get excited about our ministry here at St. Paul’s. As the new school year begins, this is a time when many people decide to begin coming to church more regularly, so you may see some new faces among us! Whether they are returning friends, or completely new faces, this is a great time to welcome them and “love our neighbors as we love ourselves,” echoing Jesus’s command in Matthew 22:39.

Let’s be on the lookout for those who need a new friend or a warm smile as they come into our doors for what may be the first time. It can be intimidating to enter a new church, especially one where you are sure to be noticed, so let’s make it easy on them when they realize they’ve met a whole bunch of new friends!

With the Peace of Christ,

Robert