He Appeared to Me: Through His Word.

Last Sunday, we meditated on the road to Emmaus as a congregation, to see what God had to say to us through His word on an individual level. Today, Ruth Hartunian-Alumbaugh shares with us what God said to her. 

Sunday’s service really had some skin on it.  I mean, when I hear words, I see images.  I see pictures.  I see in my mind’s eye what I am hearing about with my ears.  This past Sunday was no exception to the images with skin on them.
 
There is something fundamentally appealing to me about Jesus.  He is such a great friend.  The fact that he met the men on the road to walk with them strikes a chord in me.  How many times have I had a great friend join me in a walk?  For me, walking has become one of the best ways to connect with another heart; the heart of a friend.
 
In those days, walking was a major mode of transport.  These days, walking is sometimes inconvenient.  It hinders us from getting somewhere faster so we can do more.  But I really like walking because I am made to slow down and listen!  I have never read anything about Jesus being in a hurry.  I am grateful that He meets me where I am.  
 
The thought of that put a smile on my face on Sunday.  He didn’t expect to be met.  He was the “meeter.”  He was the one seeking to be a part of people’s lives.  He was the one catching up with His peeps.  In the mundane of life, He is there.  In and through all things, He is there.  
 
Nothing has changed as far as how He operates.  I love Him even more for this glorious aspect of His friendship.  What a friend we have in Jesus!
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Serving at St. Paul’s!

At St. Paul’s, we rely on our volunteers and their selfless service. In the coming months, our Director of Volunteers (Jeanne Mullaney) will be revamping our current volunteer system.

There are a few opportunities coming up soon; check out what we’ve got, and see what might work for you. Try something new, and see how you can serve with us!

  • MACC Soup Kitchen: We’ve got a couple dates coming up! We need volunteers for April 22nd, May 27th, and June 27th.
  • VBS Volunteers: We’ll be having a meeting with volunteers on April 29th at 7 PM to discuss our summer’s VBS program.
  • Church Service: We need volunteers in our Children’s Ministry, communion servers, and food for after the service.

If any of these opportunities sound interesting to you, contact Jeanne!    


Sabbathday Arts

A new St. Paul’s group, meeting for creative-arts focused fellowship. Karin Dionne and Laurie Bell will be organizing occasional Sunday afternoon activities. Join us whenever you like; feel free to invite friends.

TL2013

This Month: On April 28th, we’re taking a field trip to New Britain Museum of American Art to see the exhibit Toulouse-Lautrec & His World, approximately 150 of his rare works on paper from the mid-late 1800’s. Karen has read several biographies about Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and can tell us about his life, the backstory of the artwork and the technique of lithograph.  We’ll leave St. Paul’s around 11AM and plan to be back by 3:30PM. Bring a bag lunch or get something from at the museum café. Museum admission is $12 but we have a $36 discount that we’ll split among attendees. Contact Karin if you plan to join us.

Coming in May: a Nature Photography walk with Brad Wright.


Long Walks, Popeye, and Perspective.

From Ruth Hartunian-Alumbaugh
 
I grew up in the Popeye-the-Sailor-Man age.  For some odd reason, his quote came to me today.  I am so sure the Holy Spirit was using him to speak to me today.  God does things like that in my life.  But I digress.  The quote is this; “That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more.”   How is this even mildly spiritual?  Let me unpack that for you.
 
I went for a walk today; it was a spectacular day.  And I talked out loud to Jesus while I walked.  Mind you, no one was in ear shot so no worries.  I talked to Him about my kids, sex (yes, I did that), my role as a wife, thanked Him for friends, and interceded for some situations and people that I care deeply about.  I wasn’t sure if I would make the full route but I wanted to.  
 
As I looked ahead, I saw how far away it was.  I was discouraged about that.  And as I’ve struggled to get healthier and make better choices (hence, the walking choice!), I’ve been encouraged and discouraged in a cyclical way.  That end point was so far away.  But, I thought, goals are good.  Long term goals are great; they can make us feel hopeful…or daunted…or somewhere in between.
 
Then, I looked to my right and to my left.  I was walking on an embankment that had water and wildlife on one side and an airport on the other.  Birds were chirping, people were walking their dogs and babies, and the sounds of nature got my attention.  I really liked what I saw.  It was easier to digest than the bigger picture of the end goal.
 
The thought occurred to me that I can only stand to see the little pieces of the present sometimes, rather than the end goal.  God, in His grace, gives just a glimpse of the future.  Thankfully, He doesn’t give us all of it at once.  I really think that would slay me.  It would slay all of us.  
 
Thankfully, He knows my frame and that I can stand just little bits.  And as long as I know and believe that He is with me, I can take the little pieces along the way.  The end goal seems far away.  And I can stand the present….but “I can’t stands no more!”

Why Celebration Sunday?

The last Sunday in April is our annual Celebration Sunday.  On that day we celebrate and honor individuals who make St. Paul’s a great church. Here’s why we do it:

Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor men like him.

Philippians 2:29

 

If one part is honored every part rejoices with it.

1 Corinthians 12:26b

 

These are two statements from St. Paul.  St. Paul honored people, and so St. Paul’s Church will too. 

Paul singled people out for special recognition at the end of every one of his letters.  So we’ll take one Sunday a year to single people out for special recognition.  Really, it’s the least we could do. 

And Paul knew that honoring individuals was not just about the individual.  When one part is honored the whole body rejoices.  So it is with us.  By honoring and celebrating individuals in the church we are honoring and celebrating the whole church.