Dear church family and friends,

“These words that I am commanding you today must always be on your minds. Recite them to your children. Talk about them when you are sitting around your house and when you are out and about, when you are lying down and when you are getting up.” Deuteronomy 6: 6,7

Dear Friends and Family of St. Paul’s,

The calendar continues turning page-by-page and frankly it seems to be moving with more rapidity than ever before. The Summer of 2022 has quickly introduced us to Autumn, with September being the month when church families around the nation reorganize and the vacations many have taken from worshiping God with regularity come to an end with RALLY DAYS!

Here at St. Paul’s, RALLY DAY represents a return of our awesome Sunday School program! We will again be blessed by the wide array of musical songs of praise that our choir sings in worship! I know that Elaine and Glenda are both excited knowing their programs are coming back, but both are also looking for more people to share in the joy!

Have you sensed God’s Holy Spirit nudging you to do more for God and Christ? We need Sunday School teachers to help introduce God and Jesus Christ to kids with joy … are you one of those new teachers? We are always looking for people who enjoy singing to join the choir … are you ready to lend your alto, baritone, or still unidentified vocal tones to the choir?

Before COVID, my challenge to the church was to get ONE HUNDRED and THIRTY people in the seats of our church each and every Sunday. Well, now that we are moving forward and as new people begin to sit in our pews, are you in agreement with me that St. Paul’s can have 130 humans loved by God and worshiping God in our pews each Sunday? Do you know someone to invite to worship with us? Do you know someone who used COVID as their excuse to stop worshiping God, deciding that one hour to worship God was just too much for them when they could sleep at home instead? Who can you bring with you to church?

Frankly, I believe that we are positioned to be a powerhouse for God and for Jesus Christ in Gloucester County, New Jersey! We love ALL our neighbors when some churches are attempting to make a name for themselves by showing the world who they don’t care for. We are missional, caring for anyone who comes to us in need, serving those in our nation who need help, and always being ready to care for strangers in some corner of God’s world. And we worship in joy at every worship service. At St. Paul’s we sense the Holy Spirit’s call on how to be church!

So with the ‘start of school’ it is time to consider our homework; our God-connecting work as individuals that goes beyond reading a newsletter or coming to church.

The first assignment has to be making invitations to others to worship with you. The second assignment is to decide what ministry team of the church can benefit from your skills and abilities. Each one of us has a variety of gifts and this church can use any gift God has provided to any human being. The third assignment is for you and me to make an active decision to get closer to God through our studies, prayer, and worship, so that we can shine God’s light into the world we live in.

Since we have delineated the church year as having the oddity of a two-month vacation, I am going to be focused in the coming months on your homework assignments. God needs you … Jesus Christ needs you … the world needs you living a life of faith … and this small little church in West Deptford that we all love needs all of us to step up and to help St Paul’s stay strong and to grow!

As we go forward, I ask that you embrace with me the words Paul wrote to the Colossians, “Whatever you do, do it from the heart for the Lord and not for people. You know that you will receive an inheritance as a reward. You serve the Lord Christ. “

Blessings,

Pastor Dave

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