One of the most effective ways we can build community is to share a meal together, and on November 14th we'll have our first "Second Sunday Supper" in between services from 5:15 to 6:00 pm. Our goal is to provide a place to catch up over a meal.In case you didn't know, we have volunteers who bring desserts to the cafe for a social time after both services. The Second Sunday Supper builds on that. Here's how it will work:
- The Liddle/Hawk small group will host and provide main dishes.
- Those with last names beginning with A-M bring a side dish (don't plan on using the oven).
- Those with last names beginning with N-Z bring a dessert.
Everyone is welcome. If you can't bring a dish, you can still join us.If your small group would like to learn more about hosting the December Supper, contact Ed at ed (at) stpaulswired (dot) org.
We???re in a season of transition at St. Pau???s.?? We???re in a season of examining who we are and what we???re called to do.?? We???re in a season where we are discerning our identity and mission together.
And so as a board, we are interviewing consultants who can help with this process.?? And the natural question is why.?? Why use a consultant??? What would a consultant do?
We???re looking at consultants because we want this process to be church-wide.?? As co-founding and Lead Pastor I could simply declare this is who we are and what we???re called to do.?? As a board we could simply declare this is who we are and what we???re called to do.?? But we???d rather involve more people than just the pastor or just the board.?? This is what consultants do.?? They take our church through a process where we all come together to discover our identity and mission together.
What would a consultant do??? First, let???s talk about what consultants don???t do.?? Consultants don???t tell us what to do.?? No consultant I???ve spoken with operates that way.?? They provide the questions and we provide the answers.?? They provide the process and we provide the results.?? They help us discover who we are and what we are to do.?? They do not tell us.?? It is the process they provide.
The most important questions facing St. Paul???s concern our identity and mission.?? Who are we??? What is our mission??? All churches are called to make and mature disciples.?? But what is our specific calling??? What is our unique mission??? If St. Paul???s were to cease to exist what would be missing from our community??? The most important questions facing St. Paul???s concern our identity and mission.?? We will provide those answers.?? But we???re enlisting the help of a consultant to provide the process.??
What would a consultant do??? They would provide a process to help us discover our identity and mission.?? Additionally, they would provide an assessment of our church.?? What are our strengths??? What are our weaknesses??? What do we do well??? What could we do better???
Moreover, consultants do what we ask them to do.?? If we want advice on facilities we can get that.?? If we want advice on our polity, our structure, our by-laws, we can get that.?? If we want advice on long term financial planning, staffing needs, long-range planning, we can get that.
I can???t wait for this process to begin.?? In the message Sunday, we talked about the importance of dreaming.?? I???m excited for us as community to begin dreaming together again.?? I think the process will be exhilarating, encouraging and a whole lot of fun. ????
Dreams are good, critical and essential to our wellbeing.?? A person who doesn???t dream isn???t fully alive.?? All things are possible with God.
But dreams are one thing.?? Turning dreams into reality is another.?? It takes work.?? It takes preparation.?? It takes patience.
People generally overestimate what can be accomplished short term and underestimate what can be accomplished long term.?? What can be accomplished in three months??? Not much.?? What can be accomplished in three years??? Something significant.?? What can be accomplished in thirty years??? The miraculous.
So dream.?? Dream big.?? But remember, God is not in a hurry.?? He is the ultimate long term thinker.?? So let???s imitate him.?? Let???s dream dreams which span our whole lives and even beyond.?? What God is doing here and now in your life and at St. Paul???s will bear fruit long after we???re gone.?? ????????????
In this week???s message we talked about the importance of dreams.?? Dreams are good, critical and essential.?? Dreams are not just for children.?? Adult???s dream too.?? We just dream bigger dreams because we???ve seen more of God???s faithfulness over time.
So set aside twenty minutes this week and dream.?? Dream about what could be.?? All things are possible with God.?? Dream about what your life could be.?? Your marriage, your family, your career, your finances, your friendships.?? Dream about what St. Paul???s could be.?? Our services, our small groups, our ministries, our mission, our finances, our giving, our home, our future.??
All things are possible with God.?? Elijah had faith.?? Elijah saw God do the impossible.?? Let???s have the same faith.?? Let???s keep dreaming.
The following post highlights one of our strategic mission partners (Lutherans CARE) and two of our mission programs (FACT and Advent Christmas Program).?? Please direct all questions regarding these programs to Bob Jeram: email@example.com.Lutherans CARE
Lutherans CARE (Capitol Area Relief Effort) is our strategic mission partner in our Gulf Coast Mission efforts.?? Lutherans CARE was formed in November of 2005 by a coalition of Albany, New York Lutheran churches, in response to Hurricane Katrina.?? This organization has made two trips per year to New Orleans to assist victims of the hurricane in their reconstruction efforts.?? The trip that we will be joining them on in November will be their eleventh to the area.?? St. Paul???s has been participating in these trips for the past three years.?? To date Lutherans CARE has saved the people of New Orleans over $400,000 in labor cost through the donation of over 8500 hours of volunteered labor.?? Trips to New Orleans generally take place in March and November.?? If you would be interested in joining us on future trips contact firstname.lastname@example.org. F.A.C.T.
Feed A Child Today (FACT) is the grassroots response that evolved out of one of our mission trips to San Miguelito, Panama.?? During that trip we learned that funding had dried up for a feeding program that was serving some of the school children of that area.?? The people of St. Paul???s stepped into the breach when FACT was born.?? For just $6 a month, we can provide a child one meal a day for a month.?? We are currently feeding around 250 children a day.?? Our hope is that over time the churches that we are working with in Panama can assume this task.?? For more information about FACT go to www.stpaulswired.org/fact. Advent Christmas Program
Last year the St. Paul???s community provided Christmas gifts to disadvantaged children through Operation Christmas Child.?? Plans are underway to provide a similar type of gift to 100 children in San Miguelito, Panama this year.?? This will be part of our focused giving during this year???s Advent season.?? Our goal will be to provide 100 gifts valued at $25 each to these children.?? We will share more information about this effort in future newsletters and blog posts.