featured-image-christian-holy-week

Holy Week Schedule Reminder

As a reminder the following are our special events for Holy Week.

  • TONIGHT
    • 7:00pm: Maundy Thursday Service at Wesley United Methodist Church
  • FRIDAY
    • 12:00pm: Good Friday Lenten Luncheon at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
    • 6:15pm: Chancel Ringers warm-up rehearsal (sanctuary)
    • 6:30pm: Chancel Choir warm-up rehearsal (choir room)
    • 7:00pm: Good Friday Service at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
  • SUNDAY
    • 10:45am: Easter Sunday Worship at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
cropped-umc-cross-and-flame-color-512px-sq.jpg

Photo Directory Update

Recently when Lifetouch Photography came and took pictures for our new photo directory, some of you who wanted to have your pictures included were not able to do so.  To include all of the personal photos of individuals that wanted to be included would have increased the cost to where we would have been required to purchase the directories, and in doing so, making them cost prohibitive for some.  To resolve this situation, we are going to have a make-up day where anyone who did not have their photograph taken, and wants to be in order to have their picture included in the directory can attend the photography sessions Lifetouch will be having at St. Benedict Catholic Church from April 18th to 29th.  If you are interested in scheduling a session, please call 1-800-521-4611 as soon as you are able.

cropped-umc-cross-and-flame-color-512px-sq.jpg

It is getting stormy out there……..

As we are making our way through the Gospel according to Luke on our Lenten journey to Easter, there is one story which we will not get the chance to study in worship, but it is well worth mentioning now.

One day He got into a boat with His disciples, and He said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side of the lake.’  So they put out, and while they were sailing He fell asleep.  A windstorm swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger.  They went to him and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we are perishing!’  And He woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm.  He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’  They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?’ – Luke 8:22-25

This has always been a story that has bothered me; especially as it is presented in Luke.  By the time we get to Luke 8, Jesus has healed many individuals and even raised a child from the dead.  However, there is nothing said or done by this point which should have led the disciples to think that Jesus could control nature; i.e. calm the storm.  Why does Jesus admonish them for having “little faith”?

To understand this, there is something else we must take into consideration.  During Biblical times water, especially stormy waters, was a symbol for chaos.  In Genesis, when we hear of God separating the waters to bring forth the sky and raise up dry land, this is less of a specific description of how our world was created and more of a story of how God brings order from chaos.  For Jesus, His rebuke to the disciples is less about His ability to control the weather and more about His ability to bring order from chaos.

As you have most likely heard by now, I will be appointed to another congregation this summer.  For some this has brought about feelings of sadness, disappointment, and/or anger.  Some may be excited, but at least they are not sharing that with me!  I believe this situation is an opportunity for all of us to demonstrate our faith.  This is not to deny anything is changing or to believe things won’t be different.  What is being given to all of us is an opportunity to show that despite this “storm” we believe God can bring order from it.

None of us know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future.  Irrespective of who the minister is here at St. Paul’s, we know Jesus is still Lord of all.  Much will happen and change in the next three months, but if we all are open to it, God can bring order, and even redeem, whatever we are experiencing in any aspect of our lives.

Yours In Christ,

Rev. Kris Tate

cropped-umc-cross-and-flame-color-512px-sq.jpg

Apostles’ Creed Serman Series beginning January 22, 2017

We’re all searching.  Sometimes the search is easy:  simply type a question and the answer pops up, but sometimes our questions are complicated, the answers are difficult to see and harder to explain.  How do we discover and examine the truths that give meaning and purpose to life?  For centuries, Christians have believed powerful answers are contained in the Apostles’ Creed.  Join us this Sunday as we begin our next series, Creed.

cropped-umc-cross-and-flame-color-512px-sq.jpg

Family Promise

St. Paul’s Family Promise Host week is fast approaching. Beginning Sunday, January 15, 2017, we will host 3 families for a week. Evening and overnight hosts are still needed. If you can volunteer for this important mission of the church, please contact the church office or call Nancy Bryce at 405-570-6636.

cropped-umc-cross-and-flame-color-512px-sq.jpg

Daily Devotional – Sunday, July 31

2nd Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18

Thoughts for reflection:  It is important for all to remember God did not ask us to be victorious in all we do, but instead to persevere in our faith in all things.  If we are faithful, doing the Christ-like thing as often as we can, God will take care of the results.  Don’t be weighed down by feelings of failure or inadequacy because you can’t solve all of the world’s problems.  God didn’t ask that of any of us.  God asks us to be faithful, to be like Jesus Christ as often as possible, and to leave the rest up to God.  We can trust God to take it from there.

cropped-umc-cross-and-flame-color-512px-sq.jpg

Daily Devotional – Saturday, July 30

2nd Timothy 3:14-4:5

Thoughts for reflection:  Verse 4:3 is one which often comes to my mind.  How easy is it for you to list groups or individuals who you believe are turning their backs on sound biblical teaching and adopting teachings that suit their own desire?  If I was guessing, I would say, not very hard.  I know that would be the case for me.  If we are not going to read this scripture in isolation, how could we address these situations with the loving humility which we discussed yesterday?  Where in your life could “abandoning sound teachings for personal desires” be spoken of you?  Where do you need to experience the loving humility and grace of Christ to help you come back to the sound teachings of the Gospel?

cropped-umc-cross-and-flame-color-512px-sq.jpg

Daily Devotional – Friday, July 29

2nd Timothy 2:8-15

Thoughts for reflection:  What is the line between being confident in our faith, proudly and lovingly following Jesus Christ in all we do, and being confrontational in our beliefs where we are demanding others believe and act as we do; where we see ourselves as right, and they are wrong?  The more I study, and the better I understand the Bible, the more clearly I see how much more I have to learn.  This is one of the great struggles of our faith to proclaim and advocate for something which we ourselves don’t yet fully understand.  In my experience, the only way to address this struggle is with loving humility, which is easier said than done.

As was also discussed in yesterday’s reading, what specifically and practically would it look like for you to advocate for others to come to know Jesus Christ in their lives with loving humility?  How might you embrace this more fully in your life?

cropped-umc-cross-and-flame-color-512px-sq.jpg

Daily Devotional – Thursday, July 28

2nd Timothy 1:1-14

Thoughts for reflection:  What does it look like today to “have a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline?”  I believe for most of us our faith is something which is both ever-present and slightly hidden in our daily lives.  Because of the confrontational nature of previous evangelistic movements and the increasing societal value of respecting the beliefs of others, we tend to hold back when it comes to expressions of our faith.  I believe this is also in response to what we so often see in the media of people using their faith to harm or degrade others.

My understanding of this passage is Paul is encouraging us to be bold, loving, and discerning in how we life out our faith.  The way that I make sense of this in my life is anchored by the belief that I truly want God’s best for every person on this planet.  In my best moments, my thoughts and actions are rooted in this belief.  What is it for you?  What does it mean, practically speaking, for you to have a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline?

cropped-umc-cross-and-flame-color-512px-sq.jpg

Daily Devotional – Wednesday, July 27

1st Timothy 6:6-19

Thoughts for reflection: “But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil……”  One of the great challenges of leadership of any kind, at any level, is how and for what purposes do you wield the power you now have as a leader?  As we can see from this reading, using power for personal financial gain was an issue even some two thousand years ago.

All of us have different degrees of power in every situation in our lives.  Reflect on those places where you have a leadership role, whether it is in the church, your family, another relationship, or at work.  How do you wield that power?  Is it for the good of everyone, or is it more often for your benefit?  One of the great challenges of leadership is being willing to set personal gains aside for sake of benefiting everyone.  How can yon be more mindful and intentional about this in all of your life?