Church, on purpose

St. Paul’s develops purpose statement to focus ministry and encourage mission.

On the morning of Saturday, October 11th, members of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church gathered together to develop a purpose statement for St. Paul’s. The workshop was led by Rev. Nancy Nyland, Director of Evangelical Mission in the Indiana-Kentucky Synod.

With doughnuts and a lot of coffee, members delved into Scripture and discussed what it calls us to be as a church, and ways in which we have witnessed that Living Word working through St. Paul’s ministry in the past.

By the end of the morning, those sturdy souls had developed the following purpose statement for St. Paul’s:

“To Listen, care, go, & connect,

to God, one another, and the world.”

At its next meeting, the council discussed & affirmed this purpose statement.  It will be brought forward to the congregation for affirmation at the Annual Meeting (on December 7th), but we also want to encourage conversation about the purpose statement now.

What do you think:

  • What in this statement resonates with your experience of God working in and through St. Paul’s?
  • How do you imagine the ministry of St. Paul’s being reshaped by this purpose?
  • What does this statement call St. Paul’s to let go of?
  • What new things does this statement call St. Paul’s to begin?

Community Lenten Breakfasts

2014 Lenten Breakfast Series

Sponsored by the Clinton County Ministers’ Association
Breakfasts begin at 8AM every Saturday in Lent.

DATE                                LOCATION

March 8                              St. Matthew UMC, 1951 Wilshire Dr

March 15                            1st Christian Church/Disciples of Christ, 58 S Columbia St.

March 22                            T.B.D.

April 5                                St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 2029 S State Rd 39

April 12                              Harmony Hall, Wesley Manor, 1555 N Main St

 

Going the extra mile

On June 24, folks from St. Paul’s hit the pavement to intentionally engage the community by walking its streets.

For 12 weeks over the summer, 37 walkers covered more than 147 miles of sidewalks, trails, roads, and alleys, paying close attention to what they saw, heard, and experienced. They were looking specifically for ways at which God is already at work in the world around us.

Sometimes new sidewalks the city provided easy walking, but other times the sidewalks ended or were in disrepair. Many of the neighborhoods contained a variety of single-family and multi-family homes – some needing a little TLC, but many in good condition and under great care.

 

Near the center of the city, small businesses (a few just opening) were contained in houses amidst residential homes.  Of particular interest was the old church building on John & Gentry which has since been converted into a residence.

Walkers didn’t notice or interact much with others for the first few weeks when temperatures reached over 100 degrees.  As the heat began to break, children emerged to play on the sidewalks and ride their bikes down side streets followed by people relaxing on their porches and working in their yards.

For those who didn’t feel physically up for a walk (especially given the high heat!), St. Paul’s partnered with the Paul Phillippe Center to provide a way for them to participate.  The ride-along gave participants a way to see a lot of the city and surrounding areas, guided by a very knowledgeable driver.

During the campaign, participants came up with a few more creative ways to engage the community.  As a way to celebrate the conclusion of the campaign, walkers invited local food industries to join a celebratory meal on Sunday, September 23rd.  The lunch featured locally produced & distributed foods from Schoup’s Country Foods, Frito-Lay, Glover’s Ice Cream, Zachary’s Candy, and Margarita’s Pupusería.

Walkers also wanted to find a way to complement our listening with a way to serve the poor.  So, on August 5th, St. Paul’s began collecting shoes for the shoe-less.  Two large boxes were placed in the narthex outside of the sanctuary and people were asked to search their closet for unused shoes or bring in a pair of new shoes.    Slowly, the boxes began to fill up – and then overflow!   In total, over 180 pairs of shoes were blessed and sent on their way to be distributed by Art for Humanity!  

Overall, the walkers’ response to the walk was one of surprising hope.  We discovered a number of “leads” and “interesting guesses” about where this experience will take St. Paul’s into the future.   The observations made during the walks will help give shape our future engagements, like the one-to-one listening campaign in 2013.  Without question, St. Paul’s is beginning to see itself as part of the community here in Clinton county;  but what we’ve witnessed walking the streets, collecting shoes, and inviting neighbors to share a meal, has helped us see ourselves as part of something even larger – God’s mission in the world, active and alive in our small corner of the world.

Mission

St. Paul’s Mission Statement:
We are called to accept God’s love,
proclaim and share that love with all people,
while growing in faith as followers of Christ.