St. Paul’s was actually a leader in streaming worship services amongst churches in New Jersey before COVID arrived. When other churches panicked wondering what to do when the pandemic started, we were already providing people in worship around the world with online access to our joy-filled Sunday morning worship services.

We continue to stream Sunday morning worship services, Wednesday morning Holy Communion services, the closing services of Vacation Bible School, and Celebrations of Life for people like our beloved Sally Jordan.

That’s wonderful isn’t it! I am sure each of you has, at the very least, a small online presence, because whether we like it or not e-mail is how we communicate. Bible apps provide us with access to God’s Word anywhere we have our phones. And yes all of us who are part of St. Paul’s church extended family can connect with the church through our Facebook page and website. Donna and Megan have DO NOT DISTURB SIGNS out every Sunday when the church service starts online because they do not want to miss church and they can’t be at church in person!

But in my spirit of “returning to church”… I am curious how many of you share our FACEBOOK page with your friends and family on your FACEBOOK page? Do you encourage your collective of friends and family to worship with us every Sunday and to share in Holy Communion on Wednesday mornings? When we have a special event scheduled, do you share its link from our website to your social media?

And so as we begin a new church year on RALLY DAY I want to assign homework to all of us. It will not be graded, but your completion of the homework assignment is vital to our church’s growth and vitality not only in the coming months but in the next decade or more.

Your WEEKLY ASSIGNMENT beginning this week is to EVERY WEEK put an invitation to worship with St. Paul’s Online or In-Person onto your social media. I almost want to do the Mission Impossible thing “Mr. Phelps, your mission if you decide to accept it …” but I know as an individual who loves our church and loves God, I know you will want to accept the mission challenge. Jesus tells us to make disciples throughout the world, and in the 21st century this is a great way to do it!

EVERY WEEK … invite ALL your friends and ALL your family who are on your social media to WORSHIP GOD and JESUS CHRIST with you and all of us either in person or online. It means you will have to let your friends and family know that you have a church that matters to you and a God who is part of your life.

Can you do it? Well, ‘duh,’ if you have any sort of online presence I know you “CAN DO IT” but WILL you do it? Do it … for the sake of God’s Kingdom on earth … to benefit our little global church in West Deptford … and to connect those you care about with God and Christ.

© 2017- St. Paul's United Methodist Church, West Deptford, NJ