July 2021 Newsletter
July 1, 2021
For over a year we have been worshipping in multiple services instead of one. For many congregations, that’s normal. But for us, it was very much not the norm. It was not only different, but it was difficult for many of us, because it wasn’t by choice. Guidelines and recommendations coming from outside our congregation brought on by a global pandemic made it necessary. But it wasn’t what any of us really wanted. Little about how we had to do things during the past year were how we wanted them to be.
However, things have now gotten to the point where cases are low enough and enough people are vaccinated that it means all those rules and guidelines for gatherings have been lifted. I saw firsthand how thrilled people were to not have attendance limits at baseball games last weekend, or not be required to wear masks while indoors with large groups of people. I hope we can have even more joy in being able to come back together in one worship service, joining as the full congregation of St. Paul to receive the good gifts of God’s Word and Sacrament.
As was announced this past Sunday, we will be doing just that starting on July 11th. The decision was made to do it that weekend in order to give us two weeks to get the word out and make sure people were aware of and ready for that switch, as well as to avoid any potential confusion of doing it over an already busy holiday weekend.
For some people I know this move feels long overdue. For others, it may still not feel as though it’s a good idea. As your pastor, this matters to me because I recognize how it does and can be not just a social or political or health issue, but a spiritual one.
This past year has been difficult and stressful for so many of us. And in many cases, that stress and worry has manifested in thoughts and comments regarding those with different views than us that do not reflect the patience and love God calls us to demonstrate toward one another. As we do gather back together in one service, we do so as sinners all. We all have things for which we ought confess and repent. We all have things which we need to forgive. I know well that doing either of those things can be difficult, and may not happen fully overnight. But, it’s for that very reason that we gather together. It’s why we confess our sins, and it’s why we receive God’s forgiveness. The law and the gospel that are proclaimed is for us all. Even as we come and receive communion together, we do so praying and trusting that as we live together in shared faith, as we partake of the same body and blood of our Lord, he will work the forgiveness that we need, and strengthen us to give the forgiveness that our brother needs.
May God grant you peace and joy, ever shaping your heart to reflect the love of Christ poured out for you.
|Ladies Restroom Renovation||118.00|
NEEDING OUR CONTINUING PRAYER
Terry Colston [nephew of Fred Rhoda, on liver transplant list]]
Kenzie Steffen Legg from AZ, snakebite victim
Dr.Jim May [cousin of Pat Wahls]
Trent Nelson [Natashia Nelson’s father-in-law]
Carla Nobis [at Good Samaritan Home]
Thom Palmer [high school friend of Pat Wahls]
Roger Shiflett [at the Nursing Home in El Paso]
Jalene Wollford [grade school student at St. Mary’s, Pontiac]
Please notify Joy if anyone could be removed from the Prayer List.
Next Sunday – July 11th -- Regular Worship Returns with Bible Class at 9 AM and Worship at 10 AM.
Men’s Breakfast will be held at the Chenoa Family Restaurant on Thursday, July 8th, 8 AM. The breakfasts will be held every other Thursday. Mark your calendar.
Thank you to everyone who helped make my retirement celebration so memorable! It was wonderful to visit with so many friends and former students/parents! I appreciate all the cards and gifts as well. Thank you to my "St.Paul Family" for the corsage, refreshments and the effort it took to provide the reception! I was blessed to enjoy such a rewarding career and to have such caring friends throughout it all!
A Memorial Service celebrating the life of Jim Erdman will be held on Saturday, July 17th, at 1 PM here at St. Paul. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall.