They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I have no doubt whatsoever that every person who meets Bertie Cast, a shut in from our church family, leaves thinking, ‘what a beautiful woman’ and more than likely ‘what an awesome woman of God.’

Bertie Cast is a child of God even though she is getting a little older day by day. She is a child of God who has figured out that living life for God and with God matters. Her smile is radiant and even on a day when she lost a front tooth (it has now been replaced) her smile was incredibly beautiful! She sends her love to all of the St. Paul’s church family and wishes that she could worship with us.

As we move into the month filled with May flowers it seems like we are all too quickly leaving Easter behind. I sit here with the sun shining through my window still challenged by a persistent question as to whether the bloom of the Easter discovery is still shining on our faces as it did on Easter morning. I wonder whether this has this been the year when the Holy season transformed more of us into a stronger relationship with God. Have the recent baptisms of the twins and Cody enlightened the church family of St. Paul’s to our daily need to be God-connected rather than world-centered?

Tough questions because we are busy. Tough questions because the world and our families and our neighbors and our friends want us to be someone different than a joy-filled sharer of the faith we hold dear.

On Sunday May 20th we celebrate Pentecost. I will be wearing red … will you join us in remembering the birth of the Christian church with the energy and enthusiasm you associate with the birth of Christ? Can you help fill the sanctuary with the color red remembering God’s gift of the Holy Spirit? When we reflect on chapter 2 of Acts (I would love for everyone to read that short passage of Scripture before the 20th) we see how God’s Holy Spirit changed lives and how changed lives brought more people into the church. In the year 2018 we need to continue to grow God’s church … we need to continue to grow St. Paul’s.

On May 27th we will pause to remember our baptisms and there will be an opportunity to renew your baptism vows. As a church our challenge this summer will be to visit the families whose children have been baptized here to encourage them to worship with us to connect with God rather than to allow their child’s baptism to be just a party date for the family.

Vacation Bible School is around the corner and yes, I really think we can get 125 children packed into our hallways if we all invite the families we know to join us. This is a transitional time period for our church and our world. Children need to discover God’s love and we have such a great venue to share the message of Easter with them.

The month of May also brings closure to a season of Bible study and I am trying to decide on the studies for the fall. I really will welcome your suggestions. One idea that I am going to try to implement this fall is a weekly 30 minute Bible study on ZOOM at lunch time; participants can study God’s Word at work or home. Please let me know how I can create a study that you will join.

The bloom of the Easter Lily of Jesus Christ never fades. The light beaming from the empty tomb illuminates the path of Salvation. Our God calls us to be different than the world and our God calls us to go into the world for God. Wherever life’s journey takes each of us it is my prayer that our daily lives reflect both that bloom and that light. Let’s see if we can all be as beautiful as Bertie …


©2018 St. Paul's United Methodist Church, West Deptford, NJ