Epistle Article January 26, 2014

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! (2 Corinthians 5:17)


Just last week marked my one year anniversary as pastor of St. Paul’s.  And before I could even catch my breath, we are well into our second year together.  I am hopeful that with every New Year comes the promise of better days ahead.  As we embark on 2014 together I do so mindful of all the good things that have gone before, but also mindful that God is always calling us to new challenges and opportunities.


Among the good things taking place at St. Paul’s is a renewal of attitude evident within our congregation.  Attendance is up.  We are gaining new members.  Worship is vibrant.  Still, there is more that we can and will do in 2014.  I know that many of you are like I am.  You are eager to learn about new ways to help us become a more inviting people so that others may experience for themselves the love of God that we experience in Church.


Over the next several weeks I plan to share some ideas that I have borrowed from Dan Glover and Claudia Lavy in a presentation I saw at a Bishop’s retreat.  For instance, when we invite people to Church we do so with an expectation that they may be skeptical.  Rather than trying to convince our friends that they need the church, we simply invite them to come and see for themselves.  Once they do come and see, our goal is to practice Authentic High-Impact Hospitality because we want to make them less anxious and more comfortable as they find their place among us.  If you wonder how this works, make plans now to come to the study that will begin early in March based on the book Deepening Your Effectiveness: Restructuring the Local Church for Life Transformation by Glover and Lavy.  This educational opportunity will take about six weeks.  More information will be forthcoming and I know that you will want to be a part of this exciting new work of God among us.


I am grateful for all that we did in 2013.  I am excited about the direction we are moving in 2014.  Time and space limit me but I invite you to participate in upcoming mission projects, educational opportunities, enhanced fellowship offerings, and ministry settings within Small Groups and the wider Community of Faith.


See you in Church,