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.

It’s the WHY of Supporting St. Paul’s Ministries

 
When we take the vows to join St. Paul’s, we promise to support this congregation with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.  Being good stewards of God’s church means that we participate in the mission of the whole church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  The mission of St. Paul’s UMC to affirm God’s love by transforming lives, connecting generations, impacting our community and world as well as making disciples for Jesus Christ is a compliment to the larger church’s mission.  However, these are simply rules to follow, and you need the why of those promises.  Why do we do all this?  Why do we study this every year as we prepare for next year’s ministry impact?  Knowing the why makes a huge difference!
The why is because of God’s grace toward us.  Grace is defined as the “undeserved, unmerited, and loving action of God in human existence through the ever-present Holy Spirit,” and when we realize just how amazing this grace is, we will act upon it with transformative love toward God and the world around us.  Everything we do will then be an Act of Grace – what an amazing way to live!  As the late evangelist Billy Graham said, “When you accept Christ, the holy spirit must live in you and express himself through you.”  That’s acting under the influence of grace! As we approach next year’s grace-fueled mission, volunteers on the Stewardship Team have set some goals for our ministry next year.  Adopt these as your own personal goals as you pray about how you and your family will support St. Paul’s with your prayer, presence, gifts, service, and witness.  Each of these goals is equally important, covering each area of our membership covenant:
  • Prayers: each member of the congregation will commit to praying once a day.
  • Presence: each member will worship in some Christian form of community (church being the primary one) once a week.

o   You’re encouraged to be creative as you worship in community with other Christians.

o   Do all you can to come to St. Paul’s, but if that is not possible, find a community to worship wherever you are: whether it’s in the car as you travel, in another location where you currently are, or whatever creative solution you can find. 

  • Gifts: each member will work toward tithing if they are not already tithing.

o   While the Finance Committee is still gathering figures for the 2019 Budget, it appears that the budget will increase over last year due to continued investments in ministry and growth.

  • Service: every member of the congregation will commit to be involved in some form of regular service.
  • Witness: every member of the congregation will focus on finding their heartburst for ministry

o   A heartburst is a sudden, powerful, divine, urgent and compelling desire to help that particular stranger (or group of strangers) experience the grace that they need most. ~Thomas G. Bandy

o   What is your “why?” for ministry?

o   If you’ve found it, keep going

o   If you haven’t- keep intentionally listening to God’s voice

Join us for a four-part worship series on stewardship called This Act of Grace. Each week we will hear stories of God’s abundant grace toward us, focusing on the different ways in which we respond to his grace. The themes for each week are “By His Grace” (based on Romans 3:24), “God’s Varied Grace” (1 Peter 4:10), “My Grace is Sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9), “This Act of Grace” (2 Corinthians 8:9) and “Responsible Grace” (Psalm 145), which will be our Commitment Sunday when we consecrate our 2019 Commitments on altar and pray over our common mission together.  Grace us with your presence, as God will grace us with his.


Stewardship Series Coming Up!

‘twas grace that taught my heart to fear

and grace my fears relieved

how precious did that grace appear

the hour I first believed

 

This beloved and well-known hymn, “Amazing Grace, points out the powerful effects of grace upon the life of a Christian. Rev. John Newton, who wrote this hymn, begins with the acknowledgement that God’s grace has saved someone—a wretch—like him. This grace teaches our hearts to fear the right things (God) and relieve the fears we have that are insubstantial and keep us from connecting with God. This kind of re-orientation of our hearts that happens when we first believe is precious and priceless, and forms the foundation of our faith. God’s grace forgives us and shows us God’s great love for us; and this empowers us to live a life that is, in the words of another hymn, “forgiven, loved, and free.

Starting in September, join us for a five-part worship series on stewardship called This Act of Grace. Each week we will hear stories of God’s abundant grace toward us, focusing on the different ways in which we respond to His grace. The themes for each week are “By His Grace” (based on Romans 3:24), “God’s Varied Grace” (1 Peter 4:10), “My Grace is Sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9), “This Act of Grace” (2 Corinthians 8:9), and “Responsible Grace” (Psalm 145). Grace us with your presence, as God will grace us with His!

During worship this month, we’ve got a lot of grace-fueled ministries to celebrate such as the Backpacks for Kids ministry at Interfaith Emergency Services and Peace by Piece; so come be a part of grace in action!

 

~ Robert

 



It’s Back to School Time!!!!

The turn of the calendar is a signal to us that things are changing, and soon we’ll be talking with our friends, family, and church about the upcoming holidays. Some of us grieve over summer, and I can certainly understand why, but the Bible tells us that “for everything there is a season, and a time for every activity under heaven” in Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT).  These patterns of the year are more than drudgery or lost opportunities; they are future opportunities for us, individually and collectively, to Be Jesus in our workplaces, our schools, our “watering holes,” or wherever else we happen to be.

I was speaking to someone the other day who was telling me about a missionary that visited her church to give a talk about his mission work in a foreign country.  When asked about how he and his family spread Christianity, he said they start with something God has already gifted him for: fixing cars.  Like the Apostle Paul, he plies his trade and prayerfully builds relationships with local auto mechanics and neighbors, teaching them what he knows, which turns into “get to know you” type conversation, then to conversation about faith in Jesus.  He’ll end up doing prayer and Bible Study with local mechanics that might turn into a worship service as it grows.  Through simply getting to know the people in town, he begins to build a church!

With the declining trust and influence of Christianity in our society today, we all need to become missionaries wherever God has placed us.  The times have changed, as Ecclesiastes tells us they will; and many people will simply never consider going to a church because they’ve never been to one before.  This change requires missionaries instead of showy religious spectacles.

So how can you become a missionary?  You don’t need to preach to a stadium, nor do you need any supernatural gifts or to memorize any sort of formula.  All you need is to prayerfully get to know your neighbors and pray for God to open doors for the Gospel.  As you have more of these conversations, you might want to start praying for each other and/or reading the Bible together.  As you head into the new calendar of the school year, be a missionary by getting to know your neighbors and see how God uses it!

May God bless this season!  ~Robert