Dear church family and friends,

And so it begins … another new year in our life’s journey. And for the church called St. Paul’s of West Deptford our 164th year has started. Together, friends, we have an incredible opportunity to once again verify that God’s church on Church Street has a vital role both in our community and in the world.

It was during the winter of 1857-1858 that Rev. Aaron Ballard held a series of revival meetings on our church site. He somehow knew that this would be a special Holy Ground, and it is estimated that up to 500 individuals came to know Jesus Christ during those cold winter months. It was shortly after those revival meetings that the first church was built on our property. Our current building was built in 1908.

REVIVAL … don’t you think we all could use a revival of our faith after these long months where we have allowed fear to take the place of hope? REVIVAL … don’t you think it is time that the truth about God’s love becomes an essential element in our ongoing conversations rather than hidden away? REVIVAL … don’t you agree with me that each of us can benefit by investing more of our time in God’s Word, in prayer, in pausing from the world rather than rushing to see who has posted what on Twitter and Facebook?

I hope that each of you felt lifted up in spirit and filled with the joy of celebration on Christmas Eve as much as my family did. Did you share your selfies with your friends, letting them know that being in church can definitely be a joy-filled experience celebrating God’s love for all of humanity? Did your time in worship on Christmas Eve and on December 26th renew your desire to get closer to God? If you somehow did not worship on Christmas Eve or December 26th, our services are always available on FACEBOOK to watch.

You and I and all our friends at St. Paul’s are facing a challenge in the coming year. We have lost some really good people over the last 12 months, and these were people we depended on for their giving and their other contributions to the church.

Young and old, we need to work together to energize St. Paul’s in a spirit of REVIVAL in a way that sounds the clarion call out into our community! There are men, women, and children being swallowed up by the world, and they should instead be experiencing God’s love like we do. The lonely deserve to discover a loving church family like ours! The lost need to find the light of Christ to change their lives. But it will take you and me to make a difference.

The month of February will focus in on REVIVAL at St. Paul’s. A month where we each should be sharing love with all our neighbors while also considering who we each can invite to worship with us at St. Paul’s.

July is around the corner, and I would love to see more of you joining the team to the Red Bird Mission in Kentucky. It would be great to have families deciding that a mission trip can create an amazing family memory while also helping those who are hurting in the world.

Yes, we had a little snow while the rest of South Jersey was overwhelmed with the white stuff (of course, you all know I wanted more snow) but we continued to function. We have made it through two long years, friends, and we have managed to make it through by being the church God calls us to be. We are a church that worships God, welcomes all our neighbors, feeds the hungry, and cares for the broken in the world.

You and our other friends have an amazing track record, but there is so much more to do! We need to experience revival … we need to grow … we need to do all we can to ensure that in 2035 our community will continue to look to St. Paul’s as the vital church in this community!

Wishing all of us happiness, joy, peace, and good health in 2022!

PD

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