Shared Vision

October 2020

From the Pastor's Desk

Pastor's Honor Roll

Living through the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for many of us. While we have been able to continue worship online and in person, our families have not had the benefit of Sunday School and our mid-week children's ministry. While Confirmation and Youth Group are meeting, our programs for younger children have not resumed. We have resumed Sunday School, but many of our families are not yet ready to return.

To give our children something to learn at home, and to help parents, I am starting something I call the Pastor's Honor Roll. I would like to encourage parents to help their children memorize the main parts of the Catechism. Each time a child memorizes a part of the Catechism, they will be placed on the Pastor's Honor Roll for that month. They will also receive a ribbon showing that they have memorized that part.

The parts of the Catechism should be learned in this order:

  • The Invocation
  • Lord's Prayer
  • Apostle's Creed
  • Ten Commandments
  • Holy Baptism: Command and Promise
  • Holy Communion: Words of Institution

This is not something that has to be memorized overnight. Many of these will be difficult for young children. A parent might teach these in this order:

  • Kindergarten: The Invocation
  • First Grade: Lord's Prayer
  • Second Grade: Apostle's Creed
  • Third Grade: Ten Commandments
  • Fourth Grade: Command and Promise
  • Fifth Grade: Words of Institution

Martin Luther considered these to be texts that every Christian should know. They constitute a summary of the whole Bible and of Christian doctrine. They are also the things that a 7th Grader needs to know before beginning Confirmation Class. The best way to teach these to your children is recite them with them each day.

Remember Your Baptism

Here is another practice that I would like to recommend to the whole congregation. I have asked our Confirmation Students to remember their Baptism twice a day, as soon as they wake up and when they go to bed each night. It involves two things.

1. Make the Sign of the Cross and say the Invocation:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

2. Then say the Lord's Prayer.

Why do we do this? Because the invocation comes from Matthew 28:19 and incorporates the name in which we were baptized. The Lord's Prayer is the prayer of the Baptized. (The Apostle's Creed can also be added, but that is enough for now.)

Yours in Christ,

Rev. David A. Charlton

Missionary News

Have you ever wondered how an individual decided to become a foreign missionary? Have you ever wondered how St Paul's foreign missionary in Senegal, Rev. Kristin Engstrom, decided to become an overseas missionary? Missionaries will tell you that they had a calling from God. They felt that God wanted them to become foreign missionaries. There is often more to it. There are other factors and/or events that help the individuals to decide to become foreign missionaries. That is true with Pastor Kristin. She grew up living in Europe. She grew up in a different culture and learned another language: French. She went to schools in other countries. She made friends with youths in her school and in her neighborhood. They were not foreign to her. She knew them and liked them. Foreign cultures were not strange, unknown, or frightening to her. Pastor Kristin came to the US for her college studies. She took religious and pastoral classes in order to become a pastor. She chose to do her internship (on the job training) at an international congregation. When she finished her studies and became a pastor, Pastor Kristin felt with her foreign experiences that God wanted her to go overseas, to preach and teach in a foreign country, to be a foreign missionary. Let us pray for Pastor Kristin Engstrom and her assignment in Senegal. Let us support her with our gifts to Missionary Support.

Lutheran Bible Translators

The world is changing every day with the appearance of new inventions. Change also occurs with improvements in communications and travel. Languages is method people use to communicate with each other. In this world there are many languages. It is believed that there are 7,000 languages spoken. However, the total number of languages are presently decreasing as small groups and tribes are assimilated into larger groups. The small groups and tribes that disappear rarely have written forms of their languages. Today, Christianity has saved such groups and tribes by devising writing for their languages and then translating the Bible into their languages. More translations are under way. 430 languages now have complete Bibles, 1,145 languages have New Testaments, 2,425 languages have some portion to the Holy Scriptures. There still are 4,500 languages spoken by people who do not have a single written word of Biblical Scriptures. The Lutheran Bible Translators was organized to change this. Today LBT has over 70 missionaries currently working on 80 translations projects around the world. To do this, translators must first learn the language. They then must create a written form of that language. Next, they translate the Bible with the help of native speakers. Now with a written language and a Bible the people and their culture can survive. Let us pray for the Lutheran Bible Translators and let us help this important evangelical program by giving our gifts to Mission Outreach.


November 2020 Bible Study Breakfast

The LMM monthly Bible Study will be Saturday, November 21, at 7:30 A. M. in the Parish Hall. We are continuing the Course on "Spirituality." This is the fifth session where we will be discussing the subject "Maturing in Christ: Called to Discipleship." The Bible study topic is "Servanthood: 'The attitude of Christ'" (Philippians 2:1-11). This Bible Study will follow Option 2: Advanced: Teaching with Margin Questions.

Philippians 2:1-11 (NIV)

Imitating Christ's Humility

1Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of the others.

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death-
even death on a cross!

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

To better understand the beginning of chapter 2, we need to put it in context by looking at chapter 1. Paul is in prison­­­, but assures the Philippian Christians that his imprisonment has actually served to spread the Gospel, because it has given him opportunity to witness to the imperial guard (1:12-13). He emphasizes this reassurance to counter any inclination on the part of the Philippian Christians to interpret Paul's imprisonment as evidence that God has abandoned him.

Paul also explains the problem he is addressing in this letter. Some are preaching Christ for the wrong reasons; out of envy, rivalry, and selfish ambition. This is a serious problem for the church at Philippi. In the closing verses of Chapter 1 Paul gives his prescription for this problem. He calls Philippian Christians to live their lives "worthy of the Good News of Christ" (1:27a) so they can stand "firm in one spirit, with one soul striving for the faith of the Good News" (1:27b).

In the first eleven verses of chapter 2 Paul emphasizes how seeking to understand the mind of Christ can bring unity among God's people. The word if in verse 1 has the force of "since." The four phrases connected to the "if" are presented as the basis for Christian unity: "Since" there is encouragement in Christ, etc.

In Verse 2 Paul tells his readers to make his joy in them complete by "being of the same mind," that is, by actively pursuing truth together. He tells them to have a mutual love for one another that is identical to Christ's selfless love. They are to live together in harmony and to glorify God.

In verses 3 and 4 Paul's use of the words selfish and conceit suggests several ideas: Rivalry or party spirit must go; being convinced that you are right when you are wrong must go; and a selfish looking out for your own interests must go. Apparently, these attitudes were showing up in the Philippian congregation. Paul counters these negative commands with a positive one: Fix your eyes on the good points of others. That is, "in humility consider others better than yourselves" (verse 3). Humility in the ancient world was descriptive of a slave mentality and therefore to be avoided. To be humble meant to be base, of no account, unfit. But for Christians humility was a virtue. Jesus continually taught that servanthood is the essence of Christian ministry.

In verse 5 Paul emphasizes that the way of thinking he is writing about is also Jesus' way of thinking. Christians are to cultivate the mind of Christ by following Jesus' example.

In the next verses, usually regarded as a hymn with two "stanzas," Verses 6-8, speak of Jesus' humiliation and verses 9-11, of Christ's exaltation.

Discussion will focus on the question of what was wrong with the church at Philippi and do we see any similar attitudes among Christians today? What does it mean to consider someone "better than yourself?" How does humility fit into the discussion? Can we show the same kind of humility in our daily life that Christ showed?

All men of the congregation are invited to attend.

Elevator Fund Drive

The Congregation recently approved the Council to move forward with the purchase and installation of an elevator for the Family Life Center. We will be using funds from the Church's "Building Fund". The contract for the elevator is expected to be $55,000. To replenish the Building Fund we are kicking off a fund drive similar to what we used to purchase the 2-vans (which will be fully paid for in November). If you would like to sign-up to contribute to this fund please contact Roger Jones, or call the church office.

Evening Service Change

The Saturday Evening service time will be moved up to 4:30 pm beginning November 7th in correlation with the time change.

Lutheran World Relief Quilters

LWR Quilters will meet to make mission quilts on Friday and Saturday, November 20 and 21, in the Parish Hall. We begin about 9:30. As always, come and go as you like, or just stop by to say hello.

The following week is the school Thanksgiving holiday break. Would you like to help work on quilts during that week? Contact the church office if you are interested in helping us. Please leave a message if I do not answer. We plan also to do some work on the Christmas break, which runs from December 21 to January 5.

WELCA QUILT RAFFLE: Janet Kinner has kindly donated 2 quilts as a fundraiser for the Niceville Pavilion. Added recently is a chance to win a beautiful harvest basket! Raffle tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20. To purchase your tickets, visit the WELCA table in the narthex between services. You can also contact the church office for contact-less purchase.

WELCA YARD SALE: The annual St. Paul yard sale is going to be off site this year at 1700 Glenwood Court in Niceville. Help will be needed setting up tables on Sunday, November 8th at 2:00 pm. Donations will be taken starting at 2:00 pm on Monday and donations will be accepted 8-5 the rest of the week. Later drop off will require an appointment. Please call for large items to be picked up. Church members' presale is 10-5 on Friday. The actual yard sale will be on Saturday from 7-1. Volunteers are needed for sorting, crowd control, cashiering, etc. Contact the church office to volunteer, for further information, or if you are willing to host an additional sale out of your yard.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Community Pastoral Counseling

A ministry of St. Paul Lutheran Church and School

Rev. Robert R. Lutz, PhD Diplomate

American Association of Pastoral Counselors

Call 850-843-3083 for Information or to make an appointment