Pastor Len’s Contemplations (February 2013)
Greetings and grace to the Saints of Saint Paul UMC and peace from our Triune God whom lives in us and will be with us forever. Amen!
The St. Paul congregation is still rejoicing our paying off the mortgage to the United Methodist Union of Greater Detroit (UMU) and the Extension Fund of the Detroit Conference (EF) on December 24, 2012. A "Burning of the Mortgage" celebration event has been scheduled for March 3 at the end of the regular worship service, followed by a potluck dinner in the Fellowship Hall. Renaissance District Supt. Rev. Melanie Carey, Rev. Dr. Bill Ritter of the UMU, Charles Veenstra of the EF, and Everett Howard of the Wesley Fund will attend the celebration. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend this joyous event!
The month of February – Black History Month – is full of activities at St. Paul. On Feb. 3, a NFL Championship "football tailgate" potluck and food collection for the F.I.S.H. (Friends in Service to Humanity) food pantry will be held right after the worship service. We will conduct our monthly worship services for the residence of American House, S. Adams Road, Rochester Hills, on Feb. 24 at 1:30pm in Stone House and 2:15 pm in Manor #5. Feb. 12 is the start of our Lenten Study, "The Way," using materials by Adam Hamilton. See inside Spire for dates and times. Lent starts on Feb. 13, Ash Wednesday. A service of imposition of the ashes will be held 7 pm. With the generous outpouring to pay off the mortgage at the end of 2012, the Finance Team will meet in Feb. to reanalyze the 2013 pledges, remove the mortgage goal, and finalize the 2013 budget. Also in February, teams will start making plans for the upcoming summer activities; Children’s VBS (June 17-19), Faith-Jam for middle-schoolers (June 24-26), and the Basketball Fair for middle-school aged boys and girls (July 20).
Vital Church Initiative training continues for Bill Lee and Doug Sweeder (laity reps.) and I through May 2013. In March we will schedule discussion times with the congregation for input to build on the 2011 Visioning Team’s recommendations and develop the next level of goals for St. Paul.
The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer to grow closer to Christ through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial. The institutional purpose is heightened during Holy Week, marking the death and resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events of the Passion of Christ on Good Friday, and culminates in the celebration on Easter Sunday of the resurrection of Christ. Inside the Spire is a listing of scripture and meditation topics for the 40 days of Lent to help us focus our daily prayers, thoughts, and actions.
In the daily devotional "100 Meditations On Hope," Wayne A. Lamb writes: In the midst of a storm, a little bird was clinging to the limb of a tree, seemingly calm and unafraid. As the wind tore at the limbs of the tree, the bird continued to look the storm in the face, as if to say, "Shake me off; I still have wings." Because of Christ’s resurrection, each Christian can look the experience of death in the face and confidently say, "Shake me off; I still have wings. I’ll live anyway."
See you in church. And if you cannot attend worship service, please give me a call and I will bring the message to you.
Celebrating 100 Years of Ministry at St. Paul UMC, December 2018!