“What I mean is this: the one who sows a small number of seeds will also reap a small crop, and the one who sows a generous amount of seeds will also reap a generous crop.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭9‬‬:‭6‬ ‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Spring is here … farmers have plowed their fields and seeds are being planted. Many of you have already visited the garden stores to purchase plants to enjoy during the next few months. Flowers like the one in this photo are blooming, revealing to all of us once again the beauty of God’s creation right in our very yards, gardens, and flower pots.

Many of you know I love going to Longwood Gardens. In fact, I often do my work there on Thursdays up in one of the “treehouses” on the Gardens’ property. There is an incredible energy and good feeling that comes as you breathe in the fragrance of new growth while witnessing the trees beginning to bud.

Everything is in a growth mode … everything is in a feel-good reality … what is happening now will only produce great reward later in the season.

But what about church? … What about God? … We have entered into a season that I have never been able to understand, even back when I was a child. Church attendance begins to shrink after Easter, and if you want to see sour faces of dismay just ask any church finance team about church between Easter and October. It’s sadly the truth of St. Paul’s as well.

As someone whose girls are “Jersey Girls” and as someone who has lived in New Jersey for about 40 years (yes, I know I am only 31 years old but …) I totally understand the lure and magnetism of Jersey Shore weekends. We see the out-of-state plates in Smithville, and traveling on the Garden State Parkway to visit my daughter in Toms River becomes a challenge amidst the lines attempting to get to Long Beach Island and/or Point Pleasant Beach on Saturdays. Folks like spending their free time at the shore, and that includes church people.

But St. Paul’s does not stop being a church that feeds the hungry, cares for the hurting, and pays our staff plus our utility bills. Our church does not stop coming to the rescue of strangers who approach us for help. We rush to provide care to those in the hospitals and to law enforcement officials who have been impacted by their work. And our counters see fewer dollars each week to pay our bills. By the time we reach the month of October we begin to nervously worry as to whether all of our bills can get paid.

And so my pastor’s message for this newsletter is asking you to consider automatic giving to the church you call your own, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church of West Deptford. I know you want to keep the doors open, but why not actually make a commitment to share a financial offering/tithe/donation/gift, whatever you want to call it, automatically so that the church receives your support even when you are away.

Talk with Dave or Denise Hosier or Lori Brown or me about setting up an automatic transfer from your bank account to the church each month. Schedule it on a day each month that works best for you.

Remember that when you are away your church is as close as your smartphone, your iPad or your computer. We are doing our best to make sure you are always connected with your church. When you need St. Paul’s, even if you have been away most weekends, we will be there for you and your family. But when you are away … we are still paying the costs of being a vital church actively serving Jesus Christ with joy and love!

I certainly hope to see most of you on most Sundays during Spring’s remaining weeks and then throughout the summer!


Pastor Dave

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