Shared Vision

From the Pastor's Desk:

Dear Members and Friends of St. Paul,

In the month of September, I preached a five part sermon series on Sin. I did this because I thought it was a good response to the question of why, when 80% of Americans profess faith in God, far fewer attend worship on a regular basis. One reason, I am convinced, is that modern Americans have lost the awareness of Sin. Sin separates us from God and from one another. Sin is like a wide chasm that divides us from God. We do not have the power or the wisdom to bridge this divide. We need a Savior who can do it for us. The Gospel is the message about who our Savior is and what he has done for us. However, without the awareness of our need, we are indifferent to the Gospel. If I don't know I need a Savior the message about Jesus Christ will not strike me as good news.

During October, I want to focus not on Sin, but on what God has done to rescue us from Sin. Scripture is clear that the death of Jesus on the Cross was not an accident. It was a necessity. Mark 8:31 expresses this clearly and emphatically:

"And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again."

Why was the Cross necessary? For us. For our salvation. For the forgiveness of sins.

Beginning in October, and continuing through Reformation Sunday, we will be looking at what Christ has done for us on the Cross. These are the themes for the four weeks of October:

  • The Cross as a Sacrifice of Atonement
  • The Cross as the True Revelation of God
  • The Cross as Victory Over Sin, Death, and the Devil
  • The Cross as the Happy Exchange

I hope you will join us as we ponder the very heart of the Christians faith, the Cross of Christ.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor David


The Lutheran Church has pastors and it has missionaries. St. Paul has a pastor, Rev. David Charlton, and it has a missionary, Rev. Kristin Engstrom. Their roles are both similar and different. We know our pastor. We see him on Sunday leading the Church services. We may see him on other days leading and active in other functions. We know he is to preach and teach us God's Word. He is to lead and guide our Church. What are the duties of our missionary? As a foreign missionary, she has gone to a country where few people are Christians. She is to make the local people aware of Christianity. She is to preach and teach the local people about Jesus and that salvation comes through faith in Jesus. She works with the small Lutheran Church of Senegal. Pastor Kristin has special duties. She is the Senegal leader of the Young Adults in Global Missions program. Each year, a group of young adults go to Senegal to learn how to be Christian missionaries. It is Pastor Kristin's duty to integrate each young adult into Senegal society and show them how to tell those they live with, work with, and meet about Jesus and salvation. The young adults, on their return to the USA, are to tell others about missionary activities in Senegal.

Let us pray for Pastor Kristin Engstrom, for the young adults with her, and for the people of Senegal. Let us continue to support Pastor Kristin with our gifts to Missionary Support.


In our present world many people believe that success is built on a college or university degree. College degrees are earned by attending and taking courses at a college or university. People choose to attend a particular college for varying reasons. Career programs, location, sports, and cost are factors which influence a person's choice in choosing a college. Some churches founded and continue to support colleges today. Students seeking colleges should consider them. Our own Church, the ELCA, supports several colleges and universities in various parts of the United States. One such church college is Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina. It is our College as it is supported by our Florida Synod, together with the Southeastern and South Carolina Synods. High school age members of St. Paul and their parents who are presently considering which college or university to attend, should include Newberry in their selection process. Newberry can fill the spot as it is a fully accredited college for both fields of sciences and liberal arts. The College offers classes and degree programs in 36 major and 31 minor fields. The College will supplement a student's education and development with various sports, social, and religious organizations. To help students with tuition and college fees, Newberry offers many scholarships and various financial aid packages. As an ELCA church school, church members pay reduced college fees. The Mission Bulletin Board has posted information and pictures about Newberry College. We can help our church colleges by supporting Newberry College with our prayes and our gifts to Mission Outreach.


October 2018 Bible Study Breakfast

The LMM monthly Bible Study and Breakfast will be Saturday, October 20, at 7:30 A.M. in the Parish Hall. We are continuing the Course on "Men." This is the second session where we will be discussing the subject "Men at Work: Performance Anxiety." The Bible study topic is "What's My Responsibility?: 'Work not, eat not'" (2 Thessalonians 3:1-18). This Bible Study will follow Option 2: Advanced: Teaching with Margin Questions.

Paul constantly asked other Christians to pray for him. Paul knew that the success of his ministry in some measure depended on the prayers of God's people. Paul asked for prayer so that the Word can run freely, without any hindrance. Paul's prayer request makes us wonder how often the work of God's Word is hindered by our prayerlessness. Also, there were some men who were trying to hinder the work of the gospel. Paul wanted God to either deliver him from such men, or change them into reasonable and godly men. Paul reminded the Thessalonians that even if not all men have faith, the Lord is faithful. Paul prayed for both love and patience (endurance) for the Thessalonian Christians. These were two qualities essential for the kind of spiritual stability and strength the Thessalonians needed.

Finally, Paul addresses idleness and challenges believers to imitate Jesus' self-giving love. Their hard work provides for themselves and benefits others. Paul says that if anyone will not work (instead of cannot work), neither shall he eat. God's plan is to provide for our needs through our work.

Discussion will focus on the need for Christians to pray for the success of all who are working to spread the Gospel. We should also pray for those who work against God's Word; that they would change and be on God's side instead of on the side of the evil one. Also, how do we view the idea that Paul puts forth, that "If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat?" Finally, how do we see idleness as a source of sin?

All men of the congregation are invited to attend.


We've been enjoying each other's fellowship every week and we want you to join us! The dinner starts at 5:30 and ends at 6:30 in the Parish Hall. The price remains at $7 per adult and $3 per child. This is a great bargain, and the food is all homemade in house. It includes a main entrée, salad, dessert, and drink. There is no tax and the only tip accepted is a thank you to the volunteer helpers.

Reservations are required, so we know how much food to buy and prepare. Make reservations ahead of time by using the bulletin board in Underdahl Hall or by filling out the tear off slip in the Sunday bulletin and placing it in the box provided just outside the sanctuary.

We can always use more volunteer helpers on Tuesday mornings at 10:00 for a couple hours to help prepare the meals and on Wednesday evenings to help set up for the meal or to help clean up afterward. This is a great opportunity to serve and to help provide for an important fellowship activity at our church. See Diane Ballard or Carl Spring if you would like more information.


Book Lovers Club is back to meeting at St. Paul! We will meet in the cry room Wednesday evenings at 6:00pm. Please contact Karen Kleiv at 678-8601 for a list of books and we hope to see you there!


Instead of holding a bake sale in December, WELCA will be doing a "pie roll" this year. What's a pie roll? Glad you asked! We will be selling breads and pies and other baked good on Thank-offering Sunday, November 18. Just in time for Thanksgiving!


What are you doing November 9-11, 2018? You are invited to join your sisters in Christ for worship, praise, and fellowship at the 2018 Women of the ELCA Fall Gathering at Lake Yale. Registration deadline is October 15, 2018. Register online at or pick up a registration form by the Youth board in the Narthex. *Transportation available.


  • When: October 28th after single service
  • What: Fine food, mammoth inflatable slide & bounce houses, petting zoo, prizes
  • Fare: Family $22; Adult $8; Children under twelve $4

What you can do: (1) Purchase tickets early * to avoid wasted food and control cost.

(2) Make desserts

(3) Find or donate door prizes

Your ticket prices have not increased in over 10 years. Help LMM continue to afford this policy.

* Eligibility for prizes is limited to holders of tickets purchased by Friday, October 19th.

To add to the trove of prize incentives, if you know a business that will donate a promotional item for its advertising, marketing, or goodwill, please solicit ASAP. If you have a yard sale gem that might motivate early ticket purchases as a prize, please contact Bill Landsberg at 598-9911. Any other prize ideas are also welcomed.

Ticket sales will begin September 30th after Sunday services in Underdahl Hall. Also, Laura has graciously agreed to sell tickets in the church office beginning Monday, October 8th.


St Paul Lutheran Church has 2 AEDs for use in an emergency. One is located in the Gathering Room hanging on the east wall (near the classroom door) and the other is in the Family Life Center/School in the Lobby.


Thank you from the Zapata Family.

Our church family is a wonderful gift from God. The prayers, cards, calls, and text messages we have received since my dad's passing mean so much to our family. Thank you.

To St. Paul's Congregation,

I wanted to send a "heart-felt" thank-you for your prayers & thoughts and cards. I received word last week I'm cancer free! J Again, thank you for thinking of me and my family (Lerryn & Peyton).

In God's name,

Jim Balling

John and Margaret Benner acknowledge with thanks the many cards and kind expressions of sympathy on the recent death of Margaret's mother, Desiree Ramsay.


If you have Extra Years of Zest or been accused of having some, join the Over 50 Crowd for a shared lunch and topics of interest ranging from travel to quirky hobbies, or creative projects to health and legal information. Look for sign up board in Underdahl Hall before the third Monday of each month. Typically we set up Pot Luck at 11 AM. Drinks and tableware provided by Parish Life; food offered by attendees. Lunch at 11:30 is followed by presentation at noon.

After summer hiatus, a small group met in September to hear Karen Englert of KINDRED AT HOME talk about the benefits of Medicare Part A. Diane Ballard supplemented the smorgasbord with Wednesday's main dish. Karen has agreed to repeat her presentation in the future to benefit an expanded audience. Look in the church bulletins for this information when available. On October 22 join us for a vicarious trip to the Holy Land. Grace Grimsley's friends, the O'Connors, will narrate their adventures in Israel at high noon. Many pictures and stories will be shared. Sign up for the talk and buffet lunch in Underdahl Hall. November's topic and presenter is yet to be determined, but surely plan to celebrate Jesus's birthday this December at Bogey's Restaurant in DeFuniak Springs, followed by a spin or two around Circle Lake to enjoy the Christmas lights display. Sign up before the end of November as Bogey's reservations fill quickly during the holiday, and our own church and family activities seem to collide.

If you have never attended an XYZ talk, come on out and join this sassy group or volunteer to share your past experiences or hobbies or talents. Please contact Linda Nelson with any questions, suggestions, or wild ideas. 850-499-8508 or 729-1954. Events are posted every month thanks to the talents of Karen Englert, speaker coordinator.


A ministry of

St. Paul Lutheran Church and School

Rev. Robert R. Lutz, PhD


American Association of

Pastoral Counselors

Call 850-843-3083 for

Information or to make an appointment


St. Paul Lutheran Church is proud and honored to welcome these people into our church family:

§ Beachy, Gene and Dolly - Gene was born in Pennsylvania and Dolly was born in Maryland. They have lived in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Gene is a retired electrical engineer and Dolly worked as a secretary, treasurer and bank teller. They enjoy golfing, travelling and porcelain art. The Beachys reside in Freeport and attend the 8:30 service.

§ Bess, Robert and Sally - Robert and Sally have lived in San Antonio, Atlanta, Austin, Fresno and Houston. Robert works in technical support for a lighting company and Sally is into graphic design. They now call Niceville home and attend the 8:30 service.

§ Chapot, Charles and Jennifer, Aubrey (6) and Charles (4) - The Chapot family came from Randolph AFB in San Antonio, TX. Charles is an Air Force Officer and Jennifer is a Physician Assistant. They were both raised in Austin, TX. The family enjoys camping, swimming, going to the beach and spending time together. They reside in Niceville and attend the 8:30 service.

§ Heisler, David - David was born in Harrisburg, PA. He is now retired and lives in Niceville. He attends the 8:30 service.

§ Landon, Josh and Debbie - Josh and Debbie are originally from Panama City, FL and lived in Tallahassee, FL prior to settling in Niceville. Josh is a software engineer and Debbie is a teacher at Eglin Elementary. They enjoy all things water-related and tennis. They attend the 10:30 service.

§ Simmet, Duane - Duane was born in Saginaw, MI. He works for a flooring company and lives in Freeport. Duane attends the 10:30 service.

§ Van Daele, Mae - Mae was born in New Jersey but has lived in several locations as a military wife. She worked as an administrative assistant and seamstress. She enjoys sewing, various crafts and volunteer work. She resides in Valparaiso and attends the 8:30 service.

§ Weiss, Stephan and Kathy Navarro, Reece Navarro and Willem Weiss - Stephan has lived all over the world, but most recently came to Niceville from Port Charlotte, FL. Kathy is a native Californian that moved from Fayetteville, NC. Stephan is a mechanical engineer and also does custom specialty shipping and general contracting while Kathy is a bank teller. They enjoy sailing, motorcycle riding, astronomy, San Francisco Giants baseball, and Disney. Reece enjoys all things music, video games, and travelling. Willem enjoys video games and t.v. They attend the 10:30 service.


If you have a worn out, tattered, or faded US flag you need to properly dispose of, you can bring it to the church and Don Cleveland will deliver it to his Veterans of Foreign Wars Post for a proper and respectful disposal.