St. Paul’s Ski Trip!

Hey everyone,

A few of us are organizing a ski and snowboarding trip to Okemo Mountain in Vermont. We will be hitting the slopes on Saturday, February 12th. Some people will be traveling up on Friday and staying the night. Others will leave early Saturday morning and spend the day.

Full-day tickets can be bought online for $79. The mountain also offers tubing. For more info see their website here.

If anyone is interested please feel free to email me at clearlynotabear@hotmail.com or let us know through the St. Paul's facebook page. We will be trying to organize some carpools for people who want to go up on Friday or early Saturday morning.

One final note: this trip will be during the first weekend when we will be meeting with the consultant group. While attending this trip would not preclude anyone from being involved in the consultant process, it may be something to keep in mind.

Let me know if you are interested!!

Jeff Liddle


Membership Meeting Tonight Canceled and Rescheduled

Our membership meeting for tonight has been canceled. ??The weather reports seem to be getting steadily worse and we don't want people driving in unsafe conditions. ??We are rescheduling it for next Wednesday (February 2) 7pm in the chapel.


SLT

On Sunday Ron Donnini of the Malphurs Group spoke to our church about the process we???ll be going through to move forward.?? We will be forming an SLT (Strategic Leadership Team).?? It will consist of 15 to 25 people.?? At our next membership meeting we???ll be discussing who will be on that team.?? But in this post I want to share a little bit about the commitment and schedule of the SLT.

The SLT will meet once a month for Friday night and Saturday morning sessions.?? It will be a significant time commitment.

Our schedule is:?? February 11-12, March 18-19, April 15-16, May 13-14, June 17-18, and July 15-16.

So mark out the dates!?? We???ll be taking the next six months to go through an intensive process of determining our future together.?? I hope you???ll consider being part of this important process.?? ??????


Surveys

Sunday Ron Donnini of the Malphurs group preached a great message about personal and corporate change called "The New Normal". ??Change is part and parcel to the Christian life. ??Both individually and corporately we are in the process of becoming like Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

But as we begin our journey together discovering our identity and mission as a church, it's important to know where we are right now. ??And we're using two surveys to help us do just that. ??The first survey is about taking the vital signs of our church. ??Please click here and take the survey. ??The second survey is about discovering our communities appetite for change. ??Please click here and take the survey.

I can't wait for this process to get underway. ??I believe our best days are ahead of us. ??And you can help us by taking the time to take these surveys. ??Your honest feedback and input is the critical first step we need to take together as a community.

????

snapshot of growth

Okay, it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything, I’m not sure I remember how – so if this looks funny, forgive me.

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Katie and I returned from Panama late Sunday night. The photos above are just a few of the children that your generous gifts provided for. These faces say “Gracias y Dios los bendigos” (“Thanks and God bless you all”)

On Thursday night I heard a statistic claiming that most American Christians spend more money annually feeding their pets than on foreign missions. Now with all due respect to Brad, I don’t want to debate the accuracy of this statistic. That isn’t the point. There are facts and there is truth. The statement – factual or not – woke me up to ponder a deeper truth; where are my priorities?

We’ve been studying the kingdom parables in Matthew for the last couple of months. One of my expressed desires is to have Jesus look me in the eyes and say to me, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Matt. 25:21&23)

What I’ve been learning in this stage of my Christian walk is that, in this life, I can’t have my cake and eat it too. Allowing Jesus to be Lord of my life means making His priorities my priorities. Does this involve sacrifice? Yes. Does it involve suffering? Yes. But wait a minute – the Bible has some amazing and incredible things to say about suffering (Romans 8:17&18 and II Tim. 2:11&12 might inspire you to take a deeper look…)

And here is the paradox – it isn’t until I began to give sacrificially that I truly saw and knew how much God personally and individually loves me! When you have a desire and no means to fulfill it, and you choose to let it go – along with any regrets and resentment – and God chooses to supernaturally and miraculously give it back to you… Beloved, that’s when you know that God is real and He loves you!

I can give numerous examples of this from my own life. But I will also admit that there have been – and continue to be – just as many, or more, changes in my expectations as a result of the surrendered life. For example, as a child my family took week long family vacations every summer. The decision Ray and I made to live on one income so that I could be home to raise our children meant giving that up. I personally struggled with this for many years. In the 24 years that we’ve had children together we’ve taken less than half a dozen “pleasure trips”. While I was in Panama it occurred to me that, in the 14 years that we’ve lived in CT., we’ve been on as many mission trips as family vacations. Now that’s a statistic I like!

Hearing the comment Thursday night reminded me once again that life is short. I’ve been given so much, but what do I have that’s worth keeping for myself at the possible expense of eternity for someone else? I thank the Holy Spirit for helping my “flesh” to die so that Jesus can live, not just in, but through me. Imagine what God will be able to with a group of us who corporately desire and pursue this level of discipleship…