Member of St Paul’s begins Diaconal Formation

 

Learn more about the formation and ministry of diaconal ministers at:
www.thelda.org/

TNBS Returns!

Glasses on Open Bible ca. 2001Tuesday Night Bible study will return to its weekly schedule on Tuesday, January 14.  What, exactly, we will be studying is still up for grabs.  Got a suggestion?  Let us know in the comment box below!

August Events

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If you haven’t been to church in awhile, now is a great time to come and be involved!  Preparations and planning for fall activities have begun and it is shaping up to be a very exciting time at St. Paul’s with a lot of great events!

Here are just a few of the things that are happening this month:

St. Paul’s Community Engagement Project is well underway.  This project is at the core of St. Paul’s 2013 Partnership Grant objectives and has two major parts.

The project began by launching the first-ever Listening Campaign at St. Paul’s in March.  Over the following months, St. Paul’s Listening Team scheduled a number of one-to-one’s with members and friends of St. Paul’s.  The first phase of listening led to the Pentecost Report (you can see that here).  Over the summer, the Listening Team further debriefed the experience and met this past week to set the trajectory for phase two.  Because this was our first go around with a listening campaign, there was a lot to take in and learn from that experience.  In the coming days, a “Learnings Reflection” on the first phase will be posted online.  The Listening Team will continue throughout the fall by supporting and working alongside the “grant team.”

The Community Grant makes up the second component of the community engagement project.  This week, a team has met with Tiffany Hatfield who provided an overview of the grant process.  From here, the team will work to set the guidelines of the grant and extend invitations to local organizations to apply.  Later this fall, the entire congregation will have the opportunity to select the recipient together.

There are a lot of other things happening as well!

Rostered members and friends of St. Paul’s should have received a letter last month discussing the exploration of shared ministry possibilities.  More information about these possibilities is being gathered over the next few weeks and further information will be provided following the council’s meeting in September.  In the meantime, if you have questions, please talk with Pastor Joshua.

Grandparents are invited to a Table Talk on Monday, August 26th (5:30p-7:00p). This will be an opportunity for grandparents to get together, learn a little about each other, and have a guided conversation about faith, family, and the things that matter most.  If you did not sign up in July, but would like to attend, you can RSVP via email to office@stpauls39.org.

Also happening in August is Gloria Dei’s Chicken Bash dinner on August 14th, from 4:30-7:00.  Tickets are available in advance – $8.50 for adults and $4.00 for children 8 and under.   The proceeds will benefit the food pantries in Rossville and Mulberry.  Folks can contact the church,765-296-2108 for tickets.  Gloria Dei Lutheran is located at 610 W Jackson St in Mulberry.

Finally, the initial meeting for the 2013 Stewardship campaign planning team will be held this coming Sunday (August 11) at 9:00am.  St. Paul’s will be hosting a special lunch on November 17th following service – so mark your calendar now and plan to attend!

 

If one or more of these events sound interesting, connect with Pastor Joshua (email) to learn more about how to get involved!  As other events are scheduled, they will be added to St. Paul’s Calendar.  Check back regularly for the most up-to-date information.  You should also “Like” St. Paul’s on Facebook!  It’s a great way to keep connected.

 

Tuesday Nights in July

This past Tuesday, our bible study reached the anticlimactic ending to the book of Acts of the Apostles.  If you were unable to attend, but would like to delve into a study of Acts, you can catch up on what you missed lessons up to Chapter 10 are available online (this link will take you back to the beginning of the study).

The next Tuesday evening gathering will be July 16 (6:30-8:00) at Arni’s, downtown Frankfort.  There will be no Tuesday evening gathering July 2nd or July 9th.  However, you are encouraged to throw a party and invite everyone!  Locations for July 23rd and July 30th have not yet been identified.

Our next series study will begin in August.  You can help select our next series on St. Paul’s Facebook page.  A few of the possibilities that have been discussed thus far include “the Augsburg Confession,” “Baptized We Live” by Dan Erlander, or exploration of another book of the Bible.  Make your selection known in the comment thread here!

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Listening Campaign Report

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This year, St. Paul’s has launched a “Community Engagement Project.”  This project officially launched on March 16th, when 5 members of St. Paul’s were trained and launched together the first-ever “Listening Campaign.”

Over the next several weeks, these members met, listened and shared with as many members of St. Paul’s as they could in one-to-one meetings.  In these meetings, they shared stories, learned what members of the congregation value and discovered some of the pressures they face.  This “internal” listening campaign was the first phase of the “Community Engagement Project” and laid the foundation for the work that still lies ahead.

On Pentecost Sunday, the Listening Campaign reported back some of the themes and issues that were rising out of their conversations.  Overwhelmingly, the most common theme mentioned was the “value of family.”  This came out in a number of ways, but became the focal point for discussing how to move forward together as a church community.  As the team tried to outline a few “next steps” to suggest to the congregation, they discovered a few surprises:

  • various roles within families, and each of these roles may face different pressures and have different concerns.
  • Even though “family” is a value, it can also be a source of pressure
  • church programming, rather than supporting and nurturing families, can become an additional pressure for families

In the end, what we learned is that we need to do more listening.  So, for our next steps as a congregation, we will be hosting a few “Table Talks” over the summer.  These casual gatherings will be ways for similar people to gather together in a guided conversation, share a little about their own family, talk about the pressures they face, and identify a few ways that the church can support and nurture the faith of our families.

As a starting point, we have identified three “groups” to gather around tables.  These groups were identified by thinking through what groups would have a “critical mass” of folk who would be able to talk together.  The first two are fairly common and self-explanatory.  However, you don’t have a to be a parent or grandparent to have a family (maybe you’re the crazy uncle!).  Everyone is part of family – whether they are single, have no children, divorced, etc. – and so, we’ve created a third group to help make sure everyone gets a place at a table.

The groups are:

  1. Grandparents
  2. Parents w/ young families
  3. Other parts of the family

Our hope is that through these conversations, we will build relationships with each other, gain a sense of clarity about who we are (as family members and as a faith community), identify some of the common struggles we have, and plan out a few next steps to suggest to the congregation.

But in order for all this to happen, we need everyone to participate!  So we are asking everyone to sign up for a group (only one!) by June 24th.  You can sign up on the boards outside the sanctuary at church or online.  It takes at least two people to move forward, but we’re hoping for a lot more!

Then, once everyone has had a chance to sign up for one of the three groups mentioned above, we’ll break out into small groups around the kitchen table and have a chat sometime in July or August.

 

If you have questions about the Table Talks or Community Engagement Project, please contact Pastor Joshua.

Faith Steps: Transfiguration Sunday

FaithStepsTransfigurationYes, that’s this Sunday, February 10th!!  

The end of January meant that the first unit of Faith Steps has been completed!

Developed to span the learning of confirmation over several years, Faith Steps is currently meeting in two age groups.  Grades K-4 have been focused on learning the Lord’s Prayer while 5-8 grades have been doing an Introduction to the Bible & OT.

This Sunday we would like to recognize the progress they have made!  Each participant in the program will receive a “step” for every session they attended.  These “steps” can be collected and exchanged for prizes.

During the service, we will take a moment to acknowledge what these students have accomplished and, following the service, they will have the opportunity to claim their prize!

Faith Steps in Lent

During the season of Lent, Faith steps will not meet on Thursdays.  Instead, students can earn steps by attending the Wednesday soup suppers and worship matters program.  This means the chance to earn twice as many steps!

These Wednesday gatherings will also serve as the catechism (learning events) for people of all ages who would like to be baptized, become a member of St. Paul’s or reaffirm their faith.

The first worship matters soup supper will be held on February 20th.  Steps will also be awarded for attendance at Ash Wednesday service on February 13th.

If you have questions about the Faith Steps program, please speak to Pastor Joshua.

Android Beta Test

Android-Dvlpr  Don’t mind us . . . We’re just running a little Beta test for Android.  

If you have a smartphone that runs on an Android platform and would like to participate in our little experiment, please contact Pastor Joshua at pastor@stpauls39.org.

We are also look for a few mystery shoppers to provide a little feedback about our website, Facebook page, and other places of online presence.  Interested?

Contact Pastor Joshua at pastor@stpauls39.org.

Faith Steps December

NEW START TIME:  In December, Faith Steps will start at 5:30pm on the following Thursdays:

December 6th
No Class

December 13th 
Grades 5-8     Continuing to explore the stories of the Bible

December 20th 
Grades 1-4     Learning the Lord’s Prayer

December 27th 
No Class 

Faith Steps is an faith formation program for children of all ages, focused on teaching the basics of the Christian faith as the child grows.  Children from any faith background are welcome to attend.  Participants who are active at St. Paul’s are eligible for confirmation following the completion of their 8th grade year.

2013 Mission Priorities

At its last meeting, the church council identified three “Mission Priorities” for St. Paul’s next year.  These priorities (discussed below) have given shape to the 2013 budget proposal that will be discussed at the annual meeting on December 9th.   An intentional focusing on building relationships, both new and old, underlies all three priorities.  Through building relationships, we not only grow as faithful followers of Christ, but take part in building the kingdom of God a little closer to home.

Faithful in Worship

Since worship occupies a central place in our identity as a community of faith, council leaders discussed ways to encourage regular worship attendance among members, extending personal invitations to those without a church home, and building relationships with those who come to worship on Sunday morning.

Part of this includes continuing to make opportunities to serve in worship (as Assisting Minister, Reader, etc) more available and for those who regularly fill these roles to intentionally invite others to step into these roles.  And this includes an emphasis on making worship more accessible to families by finding creative ways for children to actively participate in worship and providing more options for parents, like nursery care.

We will also proclaim God’s love through the Art of the Passion. Last year, the exhibit reached over 350 people, many of whom do not regularly attend church.  In 2013, we hope to find ways to improve and expand the exhibit, so that the good news may be extended even further into the world.

Growing as Stewards

The second  priority is that our members and regular attenders continue to grow as stewards of the gifts that God has given them.  Our past stewardship campaigns and cottage meetings have laid a great foundation for understanding our role as stewards of God’s gifts.  The particular ways our mission is lived out is shaped by the individual gifts of the people who recognize how God has blessed them and are eager (even if sometimes reluctant) to share it with the world.  Throughout the year, we will be using the wholeness wheel to identify and encourage each other to grow as stewards of God’s gifts.

This process will begin early in the year, with an exciting chance for everyone to get involved through a congregational listening campaign.  A handful of people will be trained in the art of one-to-one conversations and then will schedule times to interview other members in a mutual discovery of passions & gifts.

Continued Mission Discernment

The third priority identified is that St. Paul’s continues the process of mission discernment.  In the past, churches have engaged in this kind of visioning once in a blue moon – and more often than not, it involved some kind of building campaign.  However, mission is a ongoing process of discernment.

Building upon the discernment done in 2010, we’ll continue working with the Indiana-Kentucky Synod’s Latino Strategy Board and implementing the partnership objectives to discover ways that we can overcome cultural boundaries in our community and become a community that truly shares God’s love with all people.

A big part of discernment is listening.  So once our congregational listening campaign is completed, we’ll turn it outwards, inviting more members to be trained and listening to those in the community who are not participants at St. Paul’s.  All of this will come together at our Triennial Mission Discernment Retreat, where participants at St. Paul’s will have the opportunity to select and award a grant to a local agency with whom we would like to work together to make God’s love known in our community.

 

Through focusing time and resources on these priorities, St. Paul’s will continue to grow as vital ministry in our community.  There is much to be excited about in the coming year and a lot of ways to be involved.  No matter how young or old, near or far, quiet or boisterous you may be, there is a place for you.   There will be a chance to discuss these priorities and share your ideas at the congregational meeting and weeks following.

In the meantime, keep watching announcements in church or on Facebook; talk about it with others and ask a lot of questions; share it with God in prayer; think about what part you a most interested or gifted for – and together we’ll continue to share and proclaim the love of God, while growing in faith as followers of Christ.

The 2012-2013 Congregational Meeting will be held on Sunday, December 9th following worship.

 

Walking the Community

As part of St. Paul’s mission-implementing, partnership grant, members and friends of St. Paul’s are invited to join together as we “walk the community.”  Through this campaign, we hope to learn more about the community in which we live, where God is already working, and how we may be a part of God’s work here, locally.

There are a number of ways to participate.

1. Wednesday Walks – Each Wednesday evening we will walk 1 to 2 miles of the community.  Starting locations are announced each Sunday and listed in the Walking the Community brochure.

2. Ride Alongs – If walking for more than a mile sounds like too much of a physical toll, you can still participate in a ride-along on the third Wednesday of the month.

3. Walking at your own pace – For them, the Wednesday walks may not be the best time of day.  Many people already are walking.  So we’ve made it easy for you to walk at your own pace.  All you need to do is fill out a response card that indicates who you walked with (pairs are great! and a cord with three strands is not easily broken), where you walked, and what you saw or experienced.

Our goal is to have 80% of St. Paul’s participate and cover as much of the area as we can.

We also hope to schedule special walks soon – some of these may include “night walks,” “walks w/ community leaders,” “walking together with other christians,” or in other areas – like Mulberry!  The best way to keep up-to-date is to sign up for St. Paul’s (e)pistle and follow us on facebook.  So take a second to click “like” and then lace up those shoes and come meet us out on the sidewalks!