Let the countryside and everything in it celebrate! Give thanks to the Lord because God is good! God’s faithful love endures forever! Say, “Save us God, our Savior!” 1 Chronicles 16: 32-35
Dear church family and friends,
If you haven’t noticed, as we have come out of the Lenten season and Easter season in 2021, I have been in a mood to celebrate and praise God! How about you? Do you sense new and exciting connections with the Creator of the Universe that you have never felt before or perhaps haven’t felt in a long time? Are you reading the Gospels? Are you praying more often? I truly believe these holy weeks of Springtime offer us such amazing renewal opportunities. As people of faith it is time to celebrate our God rather than allowing stuff to push God into a convenient out-of-the-way file drawer that opens only on occasion.
The photo is proof that I tilled the soil at my daughter’s house! Actually I was thrilled to run the rototiller through the hard earth to help Colleen and Ryan create a front lawn garden; a boy and his power tool. We had to hack through roots and even bought a hatchet to show the neighbors that Ryan and I could qualify for any quality lumberjack academy! The ground is ready … let the flowering begin.
Friends, these last all-too-many months have challenged all of us and I am sure most of us have experienced change because time always brings change. I pray and hope that the changes in your lives have been good ones and as I am emphasizing here I truly hope that your eyes have widened in your vision of how much God loves you, loves me, and loves every single stranger across the world. Kurt Kaiser in his great song of faith wrote, “I wish for you my friend, this happiness that I’ve found. You can depend on God it matters not where you’re bound. I’ll shout it from the mountaintop – PRAISE GOD! I want the world to know … the Lord of love has come to me. I want to pass it on.”
Are you shouting from your mountain top PRAISE GOD? After this Easter do you want the world to know that Jesus Christ, the Lord of Love, is part of your life? Do you want to pass it on?
One of my favorite Christian days of celebration is coming up on May 23rd, PENTECOST! This year, I am urging all of you to order one of our “Pentecost” baseball caps. It is red with a white P in the middle. One size fits all. And take a picture of yourself, your children, and your grandchildren wearing them. We are going to show those photos during our Pentecost worship service. They only cost $15 each and the profits will help fund our ministry to the world.
On Pentecost Sunday, I will be announcing two new projects that will show the world how much we love God and Jesus Christ! At St. Paul’s we truly want to shout out, PRAISE GOD!! HE IS RISEN!!! HE IS RISEN INDEED!! JOY TO THE WORLD!! So I want to urge you to get excited with me and our leaders!! My sermon title for Pentecost is PARTY ON!!! After worship, we will all be picking up our chicken barbecue lunches/dinners, but I want each of us, young and old, to pick up the spirit of Pentecost and mission!
As May begins, we are opening the doors of St. Paul’s for more in-person worship! But we have never stopped worshiping at St. Paul’s! God’s technology has brought our worship services into homes on almost every continent in the world. However, every day together we have proved a church like ours is alive and succeeds when church is happening every day of the week. Even though worship occurs weekly within the walls of our beautiful building on Sundays and Wednesday mornings (weekly virtual Holy Communion streamed live on Facebook at 7 a.m.) it is how we show God’s love to others that verifies that our church is alive and well.
St. Paul’s staff members, volunteers and leaders have worked so hard to ensure that we have never stopped being known as a church that is alive and well. God has provided each of us with an opportunity, beginning with Ash Wednesday and all the way through Holy Season with the preparation we need—just like Ryan and I did with the soil that needed clearing, dead roots and rocks removed. Seeds planted … new blooming flowers carefully placed into fertile soil to be watered and cared for. As you read this newsletter the ground you are on can be holy ground if you allow God to use it. When you walk outside your home or along the corridors of work or down the aisles of the grocery store you can be on holy ground if you allow God and Christ to shine out from you. God has done all God can do to prepare the ground … are you ready? Jesus Christ is risen! Show the joy in knowing that truth and in calling Jesus Lord and Savior!
Will you join me to PARTY ON with the celebration of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our life this Pentecost Sunday, either in person or through our online streamed worship service? Will you share photos of yourself and family united as a church family wearing red and having your Pentecost cap on to show you are one with us? Will you be ready and excited to take on the new challenges that await this church called St. Paul’s where ALL are welcome to worship. … ALL are welcome to be members … ALL who are hungry can come and be fed … ALL who need shelter and assistance will be cared for … ALL who are broken will find a starting place to have their lives repaired … and ALL who are missing out on God and Jesus Christ will have amazing people ready to share their stories of faith along with the joy God has planted that is blooming and ruling the day!
We are blessed to belong to St. Paul’s either as members or friends. Get ready to share your abilities, your time, and your faith so that we can have a greater impact than we have ever had before!
You are always in my prayers!!!