My family went to the Popcorn Zoo in Lacey Township a few weeks ago. Its animals are loved with extraordinary care. That’s because, since 1977, the Popcorn Zoo’s mission is to rescue animals and to serve as a sanctuary for abandoned, injured, ill, exploited, abused or elderly wildlife, exotic and farm animals, and birds. I just love the majesty of the big cats! A stroll through the zoo reminds you that there is both good and evil in this world with good prevailing at the Popcorn Zoo!
Our world is filled with good and evil. Each of us faces days of challenge because the world looms large in our faces threatening to diminish our connection to God’s directions for life. But a stroll through our church, a connection with our activities, and time spent in worship shows that good can overcome the world’s abuse and evil here at St. Paul’s.
Through our journey, at the same time we are receiving God’s love God is also calling us to make new disciples and to provide future generations with a strong faith foundation!
Thinking about the future generation is one of my joys from this summer as I celebrate our Vacation Bible School; more than 100 children registered, a 25% increase over last year and 60% higher than in 2016. So many young lives touched by God and Christ with so many incredible volunteers stepping up to be the light of Jesus Christ!
In the coming weeks St Paul’s is offering many opportunities to renew your energy of faith! We kick off the church year with our Rally Day! Sunday worship. Our Bible studies starting at the end of the month with two online Bible studies for those of you unable to take time to come to church to study God’s Word!
September is also a month to invite people you know to church. On September 16 our worship service will feature a Christian Clown Ministry celebrating God’s love! On Friday September 21 it’s our Pot Luck Supper with Family Promise and Candy Bingo! We will also have a table at West Deptford Day sharing the St. Paul’s story with our neighbors!
October starts with a return of THE CHICKEN MAN so that is a definite day to invite friends to church. We will also be part of Boscov’s Community Day at the mall. On All Saints Day, November 4th, something very special will be happening during our worship service that you won’t want to miss.
Back to that tiger for a moment. I heard him roar with majesty and eloquence. His roar captured everyone’s attention as we paused to see the beauty of a big cat rescued from the world to a place of safety and joy. St. Paul’s is a silent tiger in many ways; we have been rescued by Jesus Christ but our joy-filled church is a roar away for others out in the world. To many people the words St. Paul’s United Methodist Church of West Deptford are just quiet words, but what’s needed is a roar of acclamation!
I think it’s time we roared, don’t you? My challenge to you from last September worked so I am going to issue a new challenge to all of us. In the coming nine months, I would like to see our Sunday morning worship attendance grow until we have at least 130 people in our pews each week. Frankly, if all of the parents of all of the children who attended Vacation Bible School last month attended St. Paul’s regularly we’d be over that number.
So many of you invited children to Vacation Bible School and we set a new record for Vacation Bible School attendance. Truly a great job of invitation! Now, let’s think of our adult friends who are looking for a church home and invite them here, because I can’t think of a better place to worship and praise God than St. Paul’s.