Dear church family and friends,

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

Dear Friends and Family of St. Paul’s,

A “Journey with Jesus” … that’s exactly what I am going to be focusing on as we move into the year 2023. A shared personal journey with Jesus and with all of you because I am hoping and praying that like me, you realize that a journey without Jesus is a journey that is not worth taking.

I memorized Psalm 119: 1-5 when I was a child, either as part of a Sunday School lesson or in Vacation Bible School. My faith education was something that my parents knew would pay dividends later in life, and I am so glad that they sacrificed their “free time” to ensure that my brother and I had the church as a foundation for our lives. Every week we sat together in church, and when my brother and I were in Sunday School my parents were also in class, at church, learning more about their faith. On our drives to brunch after church or to my grandmother’s house our car was filled with conversation about church as well as singing the songs of faith. I guess it comes to me as no surprise that many years later my brother regularly attends two different churches, and I am here at St. Paul’s. We were gifted an everlasting gift through my parents’ example and lives. A “Journey with Jesus.”

I am not one for New Year’s resolutions but my friends, I am one to issue challenges. For the good of your spirit I want to challenge you to join me in a “Journey with Jesus” in 2023, which begins with worship. And when I say worship, I mean worshiping with joy and an energized sense of our need to PRAISE THE LORD!! Christmas Eve’s services felt so good as I ran around the sanctuary ringing the bell and shouting Merry Christmas … it’s a feeling that belongs in worship all the time. “Praise God in His sanctuary! Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS! Let every living thing PRAISE THE LORD!”

I am going to ask, encourage, and implore all of you to not only worship ‘in church’ with regularity, but also to invite friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to come to worship with you, letting them know that at St. Paul’s we worship with joy, and we PRAISE THE LORD! I am thankful that our FACEBOOK streaming allows people like my family to worship online because they can’t be in church, but I am loving having the sanctuary nearly full on Sunday mornings. There is a special energy that people share when they are worshiping God with joy and love in person.

My sermon themes are going to be focused on how we should be living our faith. Our worship services will continue to be filled with joy and praise! I am confident that those worshiping in St. Paul’s sanctuary will continue to provide any and all individuals who walk through St Paul’s doors with love and friendship!

We are blessed that in 2023 we can call St. Paul’s United Methodist Church of West Deptford our home church. That’s not a resolution but a fact. Please join with me in growing the church’s missions and ministries, so that in the coming days we are truly the beacon of faith in our community! Invite your friends to church and find ways to become more active in our ministries so that we can take on even more work for God as we move forward into the Light of His path on our “Journey with Jesus.”

Blessings,

Pastor Dave

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