Pastor’s Corner 1/6/19

It is a new year! 2019. Full of possibilities and opportunities. Have you made resolutions? Have you defined intentions for this year? Do you have goals you are aiming for in 2019? For Christmas, my kids got me a coffee mug which has a nutcracker on it with the words, “Crushing It.” It is now the wallpaper on my phone. A daily reminder not to sit back passively, but to crush 2019. The dawn of a new year is our annual chance to push reset. A natural point to get a fresh start. Which is usually accompanied by a list of things we hope to do. However, this attitude juxtaposed with winter makes an interesting contrast. For winter is a quiet season when life slows down. I learned last winter that I even need to walk slower so as not to fall on the ice! Winter has its own pace. Creation appears to be waiting while significant organic changes are happening under the surface. What if we applied that to our spiritual lives? Using winter as a season to make changes under the surface. We can take advantage of the quiet of winter to sit more, to reflect, to create space. The under-the-surface growth takes time. It requires space to let our spirit connect with God’s spirit. Perhaps a worthy goal for January is to take 5 minutes a day, or more if you can, to just sit in silence. Allow your spirit to settle. To dig your roots in the soil of God’s love. Don’t expect anything or evaluate the effectiveness of the time. Just sit and consciously open your soul to the presence of God. You might not see the visible fruit for months to come, but you can trust that the spirit of God is at work, deep under the surface. My prayer for us in this new year is Paul’s prayer for the people of Ephesus: “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19 NLT) Walking on the path of grace into 2019!

Pastor Patti


Pastor’s Corner 12/23/18

Note: This year St. Paul’s will collect a special Christmas offering which will be divided in half. Half of the offering will be shared among God’s Love, Good Samaritan, The Salvation Army, and Food Share. We refer people asking for help to these organizations year round and want to support them. Each does amazing work meeting needs in our community. The second half of the offering will go toward upgrading our technology here at St. Paul’s. If you would like to contribute, please designate “Christmas Offering” on your check or put your donation in the designated envelopes, which are available in the foyer, pews, and church office.


Pastor’s Corner 12/9/18

St, Paul’s has a longstanding tradition of a poet who submits poems at significant times in the year. This week we received an Advent Poem. Reflect and enjoy!
 
Advent A time for healing and for grace. A time to remember to slow down our pace. A time for good will and thought of those around. To feed the hungry and give to the poor and let our love abound. We come to God with a heart, open and sincere awaiting the Christ child for us to appear. Prepare the way to receive the hope joy and love, Anticipation, preparation for the blessing from above. Light and candles all around, as they signify That the darkness has been dispelled As Christ we glorify! In this Advent season as watching and waiting increase, May your heart be filled with God’s warmth and peace.
 
– Anonymous Poet II


Pastor’s Corner 12/2/18

This month we will be looking at the story of The Nutcracker through eyes of faith. For many seeing the Nutcracker is a treasured holiday tradition. It is a fairy tale centered on a young girl who is given an odd Christmas present, an ugly toy soldier nutcracker. She treasures the gift and at the stroke of midnight the magic begins. A battle ensues between the Mouse King and the Nutcracker. Clara and the Nutcracker conquer the evil Mouse King and then are transported into the Land of the Sweets through the snowflake forest. Clara and Nutcracker watch dances of sweet treats from many lands, culminating in the dance of the Sugar Plum fairy. Then suddenly we see Clara asleep under the Christmas tree with the nutcracker doll cradled in her arms. She remembers her enchanted dream and wonders if it was real. Like all good fairy tales, The Nutcracker has themes of good and evil, waiting, love, spells and magic. We will pick up these themes in worship through the characters: Drosselmeier, Mouse King, and the Nutcracker. The tale invites us to dance with steps of justice to the music of peace with God as our partner through this holiday season. We hope you can join us in worship! December Worship Schedule Our theme in worship is “The Gift of the Nutcracker”. Each week we will look at a character in the timeless fairy tale through eyes of faith.
 
Special Services
 
Winter Solstice: Join us in the St. Paul’s United Methodist Church sanctuary for our annual Winter Solstice Jazz service on Friday, December 21, at 7:00 PM. This interfaith service will move us from the darkness and into the light, reminding us of the hope we carry through this season. This year we are adding an element of dance by members of the Cohesion Dance Project. We hope you can join us for this uplifting service.
Bells of Covenant Concert: Join this festive evening of beautiful Christmas music presented by the bell choir of Covenant on Dec. 15th at 7 pm at Covenant United Methodist Church.