From the Pastor's Desk
We have a lot going on this month. So instead of writing a traditional article, I am going to highlight those things that will be happening at St. Paul this October.
In September, we began using the Narrative Lectionary. Each year, the big story of the Bible is covered, starting with Genesis and ending with Revelation. During the fall, we follow the story of the Old Testament. Beginning with Christmas, we hear the story of Jesus, which culminates at Good Friday and Easter. From Easter to Pentecost, we hear the story of the Apostle’s as they preach the Gospel throughout the world.
Over the first three week of the Narrative Lectionary, we focused on the concept of covenant. We learned that God created human beings to be His covenant partners. We learned of how God established a covenant with Abraham and Sarah, an unconditional covenant of grace. In the last week of September, we learned how God chooses to bless sinners like Jacob, so that they can be a blessing to others.
In October, the theme of covenant will be combined with the theme of calling. For the sake of the covenant that God made with Israel and ultimately with all nations, God calls leaders such as Moses, Samuel, and David. They will speak on God’s behalf and lead God’s people in the right path.
Remember to bring your Bible and follow along as we experience the story of the Bible together.
St. Paul’s annual Reformation Festival will take place in the last week of October. We had to cancel our 2020 Festival because of COVID-19. So we are very excited to have the event this year. Instead of holding everything on Sunday morning, we have decided to spread the festivities out over a week. Here is the schedule of events.
Wednesday, October 27
German Food – 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Luther (2003) - starring Joseph Fiennes – 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 30
Bounce Houses – 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Youth Group leading Games – 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Lunch of Hotdog, Chips and Water – 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m.
Reformation Sunday Worship
Saturday, October 30 – 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 31 – 8:30 a.m.
Sunday, October 31 – 10:30 a.m.
Beginning in October, all of our Wednesday night groups for children and youth will be meeting. To make it easier for parents, all of our groups will be meeting at the same time. Come at 5:30 to eat dinner with your children before they go to their groups.
- Kid’s First (K-2) – 6:00 -7:00 p.m.
- St. Paul Lighthouse (3-6) - 6:00-7:00 p.m.
- Youth Group (7-12) - 6:00-7:30 p.m.
- Adult Activities - TBA
Van Driver for Wednesday Evenings
Would you be willing to drive the church van on Wednesday evening to pick up our senior members who cannot drive after dark? We would like them to be able to join us for food, fellowship and worship. Please contact the church office if you are interested.
Centering Prayer Group
There is interest at St. Paul in forming a group to learn about and practice Centering Prayer. Centering prayer is based on a centuries old method of silent prayer that focuses on being in the presence of God, and listening for God’s Word. Please let the office know if you would like more information.
From Pastor Lutz
Assurance of God's protection.
A song of Ascents.
I lift my eyes to the hills--
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper.
the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time on and forevermore.
Autumn is ordinarily a time of excitement as we move from our summer schedule to our Labor Day to Memorial Day schedule. No matter how long it has been since I have been out of School, the "back to school" mentality continues. I know that the year technically begins with January 1, but it has always felt as though the true start of the year is the Tuesday after Labor Day.
Last year things did not feel quite the same, as we were in the heat of the pandemic. School did not start as usual, and neither did Sunday School, Church, work life, or any of the other ordinary markers of the beginning of fall.
This year we are beginning most of the usual markers, but it still doesn't feel quite normal. With the incredible spread of the Delta variant of the virus, and with the way it is affecting children with such force and veracity, its like living in parallel times. We are going about our days in many ways as if nothing is wrong. We have gone on our vacations. We're going to movies, out to dinner, to sporting events with stadiums packed full, only sporadically wearing masks. But behind it all is the awareness that this pandemic is far from settled. Behind it all is a worry that won't let go, because we see even people who have been vaccinated catch this new strain of Covid-19. This new strain puts stress on our psyche, even as we are tired of waiting, even as we strive to have an ordinary new beginning to the year.
Perhaps most unsettling of all is the ongoing ambiguity. We don't know when all will return to normal. We don't know when we'll be free of the need, or at least the encouragement, to wear masks and keep distance from others. We don't know when it will be safe to move about without fear. Still, during it all, we are striving to keep a positive spirit and to keep things as normal as possible, especially for the kids.
And so we're into a new year. We're striving to keep things as normal as possible, while keeping things as safe as possible. We continue to keep some of the things from the last year and a half that have been helpful: things like worship on line, making masks available, placing hand sanitizers in critical locations.
We’re into the new year and we enter it with much anticipation as possible even as we may have a persistent level of anxiety. Yet we return as normally as is prudent, trusting that God will lead us in our decisions and work with us to gather as the community of faith, growing in the love of Christ in our life together.
The Lord will keep us from all evil; the Lord will keep our life. The Lord will keep our going out and our coming in from this time on and forevermore. Thanks be to God!
Pastor Bob Lutz
From Principal Heather Pinckard
I want to thank the volunteers that have worked so hard to help school get started this year. It was a blessing to see so many volunteers from the church helping with the temporary rooms, the playground, and then again on Labor Day. I am extremely grateful to the ones that have worked tirelessly to get the Parish Hall read for our students after the flood. You made a difficult situation work and I appreciate your kindness and help with it all.
Lutheran Men in Mission
October 2021 Bible Study Breakfast
The LMM monthly Bible Study will be Saturday, October 16, at 7:30 A. M. in the Parish Hall. We are continuing the Course on "Spirituality.” This is the fourth session where we will be discussing the subject "Whol-i-ness: With Myself, Others and God” The Bible study topic is “Relational Life: 'How's Your Love Life?” (Philippians 4:2-9). This Bible Study will follow Option 2: Advanced: Teaching with Margin Questions.
1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Paul closes Chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians noting that there was “a more excellent way” to show forth Christ than by manifesting one’s spiritual gifts. In this much-loved and often-quoted Chapter 13 Paul isolated four spiritual gifts (tongues, prophecy, faith and giving) but declared that all of these, even in their most spectacular manifestations, mean nothing unless motivated by love. By doing this, Paul drives home his point. The Greek word for “love” (agape) in this “love chapter” connotes a selfless concern for the welfare of others that is not called forth by any lovable quality in the person who is the object of that love, but which is rather the product of a will to love in obedience to God’s command – in short, the same kind of selfless and unconditional love that compelled our Savior to go to the cross. (John 13:34-35; 1 John 3:16)
Discussion will focus on how love is described by Paul in this chapter. What does Paul say love is? What does Paul say love is not? How does Paul’s description of love compare to love as typically defined in our culture? Looking at verse 12, how does it make us feel knowing that we are “fully known” by God?
All men of the congregation are invited to attend.
Wednesday Evening Meal Update
As we transition to holding our meals in Underdahl Hall, please take note of our new price of $8 per adult, $4 per child (3-12), and children under 3 eat free. This was necessitated due to our caterers increasing their price to us.
Our October menus are:
October 6 – Pulled Pork
October 13 – Sanctuary Choir’s Gourmet Soup Buffet (no signup required)
October 20 – Grilled Chicken
October 27 – German meal consisting of brats, sauerkraut, German Potato Salad, and German Chocolate Cake.
See you there!
Help is needed in several areas on Saturday evening and Sunday morning worship. Included are communion assistants, readers and ushers.
Liturgical Assistant - This job is for the person that is okay with being in front of people. The assistant will process in and out with the pastor, read the Prayers of the Church, the Post Communion Prayer, and dismiss the congregation, saying, “Go in Peace and serve the Lord.” The assistant will hold the tray of wine cups during communion, announcing to each person, “The blood of Christ shed for you.”
Reader - This job is for the person that is comfortable speaking and reading to groups. The reader will get the Bible verses by mid-week to allow plenty of time to practice and become familiar with the verses.
Acolyte - What is an acolyte? The word acolyte means a follower or disciple—that describes adults, too. Over the years, because we use the term “acolyte” to describe the person who assists in worship by lighting candles, passing out offering plates, and collecting communion cups, and that person has traditionally been a child or youth because “we’ve always done it this way”, we have forgotten that an acolyte could be an adult follower of Christ. Here’s a new opportunity for adults to assist in worship without having to read or assist with communion. If you would like to serve as an acolyte, please contact Phyllis Wade (firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-621-3267).
Usher - This job is for the person that is good at arriving 20 minutes early. The first job for ushers is to assist the Evangelism Team with welcoming everyone and handing out bulletins. The usher might give directions to the nursery or bathrooms. Once worship is underway, the usher will come into the sanctuary to count the number present. When duties are finished the usher is welcome to sit with family. The usher will greet the late arrival, offer a bulletin and help them find a seat. When the service is over the ushers will prop open all the double doors so that worshipers may leave.
Upcoming Dates for WELCA
Saturday, October 23 - 10 AM
WELCA meeting and Fall Craft taught by Regina Humphrey in Underdahl Hall
(WELCA will not meet on the third Saturday of October.)
Sunday, November 7
Fall Gathering at Lake Yale in Leesburg, FL
Wednesday, December 1
WELCA will provide the Wednesday Night Church Dinner - Breakfast for Dinner!
Do you have a child in Kindergarten through 2nd Grade? Consider joining our children’s program at St. Paul beginning on October 6 at 6 PM! I just wanted to give you a little info about what we will be doing each Wednesday.
We will share our highs and lows for the week.
A short Bible passage or story will be shared, with songs, games, crafts, and videos to be enjoyed on that topic.
We will play & have fun while learning about our awesome God!
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. Thank you for sharing your child with us!
Bible Studies and Fellowship
Lutheran World Relief Quilters - The third weekend of the month on Friday and Saturday beginning around 9:30.
Lutheran Men in Mission - The Purpose of Lutheran Men in Mission (LMM) is to bring you together in Christian fellowship with other men in our congregation. We hope to get you involved in an existing LMM activity which interests you and we also hope will stir up ideas for new activities. LMM breakfast at 7:30 am, the 3rd Saturday of each month.