Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord all my soul. I will praise the Lord all of my life;
I will sing praise to God as long as I live! Psalm 146: 1,2
Summer time is here!
And summer has always had a variety of descriptive terms applied to this season of sun and heat! We have heard about the “lazy hazy days of summer,” which gives me the opportunity to admit the delay in the newsletter this time around is due to my slowness in getting this article to those who get our message out.
Growing up, there was the SUMMER of LOVE! And as we come out of the first Sunday in July when so many of you took time at noon to declare out loud those two simple words PEACE and LOVE, I would like to consider whether we can make this the season of PEACE and LOVE. We certainly need to get some love out into the world and the tensions of conversations are desperate for peace and understanding. LOVE and PEACE reflect who the people of St. Paul’s are!
I want each of you to consider this as an opportunity to make this the SUMMER of ST. PAUL’s! Perhaps making it the most important summer in our 161-year history! West Deptford, Gloucester County, South Jersey, New Jersey, and the world need a group or people, a church, someone to start to bring the love of Jesus Christ for ALL into the world. Why not us?
There’s a moving song, DO SOMETHING, by Matthew West that includes the following lyrics:
“If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when
Will we see an end
To all this pain
It’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something”
I believe that all too many people of faith go to churches have asked friends “why doesn’t someone fix/care/do something” when they are talking about community or world problems. The national Lights for Liberty vigil where millions came out to light candles is just a simple example that people still care but I believe that the family/ community of St. Paul’s has already proven that we have it within ourselves to show love in the world. We can do something but each of us has to start doing it.
We have our church “business cards” for you to hand out or place on business bulletin boards–I was thrilled to watch someone hand a card out at our first WORSHIP at the RIVER to a stranger. We have VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL so we can invite kids to a program where ALL are welcome at no cost to their families! Many churches have stopped VBS or are charging families who bring kids to learn about Jesus.
Our church offers Bible studies that everyone (by the way, this includes each of you) can join in from anywhere in the world! Our Wednesday night Bible study class includes a woman from North Carolina who has never been to New Jersey participating each week. In August, our Thursday Bible study will be joined by women from Tanzania on Africa’s East Coast. Why not ask a friend to join you online for TUNE-UP on a Tuesday morning (8 a.m.) or evening (9:30 p.m.)? Technology has made connecting with St. Paul’s so easy, whether it is on Sunday morning with our Facebook Stream where at least 20 people are usually worshiping with us or Bible Studies that are streamed on ZOOM; St. Paul’s stream is literally accessible anywhere and everywhere.
So the SUMMER of St. Paul’s? Are you willing to help create it? Share the story of our church … share the story of your faith … life is so short and I always wonder if I am praising God enough; will people say that Dave celebrated God and Christ when I am gone?
If we do nothing rather than something then our church will not grow; people we know won’t be connected to God and Christ; and there will be people who will miss out on the peace and love words we all said out loud at noontime on Sunday July 7.
Happy Summer … as the popular television series frequently stated, “winter is coming.”
Peace and Love, friends!