I want to thank everyone who helped in so many ways during Lent, Holy Week and Easter. The fellowship and the music were fantastic! I have also enjoyed the children with their milestones during worship. Thanks to their teachers for that!
The kids loved the Easter egg hunt. I managed to get out there just as they were finishing and got several high fives from them, or low high fives as they are a bit shorter than me! Thanks again to everyone who helped make that happen!
I am overjoyed at the number of kids who come up to the children’s sermon and how much they seem to enjoy it. Thanks to all of you parents who bring them to church and encourage them to participate. When kids of any age enjoy church, it helps them to keep coming so thank you again.
Thanks to all the mentors, students and parents and Connie for their help in the catechism work this last year. We will confirm 7 students on Sunday, May 1, and I appreciate all that everyone has done to make that happen with the problems created by Covid and the change of Pastors.
Coming up I will be gone May 4-17 to go to my daughter Paula’s graduation at the University of Kentucky and her wedding which my son Devin, the seminarian, and I will be doing together. Paula has been accepted to an online Master’s program at Baylor University and will be doing that probably in Lexington.
I do not want us to lose the spirit of fellowship and involvement we have had so far so look below. We will be honoring graduates during the service on May 22. Tammy, Robyn and I are working on ending the service on Sunday, May 29, Memorial Day weekend, with Taps and having a trumpeter play that and we hope to have someone from the Legion post the colors also. I have found this to be a very moving time for those who have had someone they know in our armed forces die.
For Pentecost, June 5, the birthday of the church, we are hoping to have a birthday cake and are looking into the possibility of having Acts read in different languages to reflect that when Peter spoke each of those listening heard it in their own language! We will skip the tongues of fire, the Holy Spirit, descending upon the head of each disciple!
The next Sunday is Holy Trinity Sunday and the three of us again are working on a sung version of the Athanasian Creed for then.
The three of us again will be meeting regularly to see how we can involve more of our own musicians of all ages in worship and if you are gifted and interested let us know!
I will be at Gustavus on April 30 for the Annual Meeting of the Congregations connected to Gustavus. I am hoping to connect us closer to them and have asked Arya and Anya, who are students there, to each write articles for the newsletter about their experiences at that Lutheran college. We are also exploring the possibility of having members write articles monthly about themselves, St. Paul and being part of the local community. I think this will help us to get to know each other better.
My list of people to visit is increasing and I am working on that. Some folks are harder to schedule than others and take several attempts. One thought Tammy and I are tossing around is getting four or five volunteers who would also visit so that they can be seen more often. When I go, I take communion and there are some folks who need to see me frequently usually because of illness and others who just enjoy having someone visit. So, I might alternate visits with those with our volunteers and then focus more frequently on those who are in greater need. More on this later as we continue to talk about it but the purpose is to see that everybody is visited frequently. Yor thoughts are welcome and if we do this and you would like to be one of the visitors let me know. A lot of this is also connected to coming out of the Covid lockdown and reconnecting with everybody.
If you have other thoughts about worship or anything the Pastor does let me know and we can talk about it.
The Endowment Committee met recently with our ELCA Foundation representative, Tharan Leopold, and has decided to update their brochure, which was last done in 2011. We will be using the current brochure to prepare for Tharan’s speaking at the worship service on June 5 and after about our Endowment Fund, why we have it, how you can give to it and how it works. We have been blessed by a number of members who have given a considerable amount of money to our fund which is invested and from which we can mostly draw interest for projects not funded by the budget. More information about this will be in bulletin inserts in May. Many colleges and universities do a great job of encouraging people to donate but many churches, including us, do not. The Endowment Fund is a wonderful way to contribute to St. Paul while you are living or for a member near death to do so which will help grow the ministry of St. Paul. If you wish to talk about this let me know or I can put you in touch Tharan if that is what you wish. I am hoping that we can do this once a year to keep all members informed and to encourage donations. We will not do such during the fall when the stewardship campaigns are taking place so as not to interfere with their work. Stewardship seeks support for the budgets for the annual expenses and work of the church and the Endowment Fund supports activities beyond the budget, like the upcoming major renovation of the parsonage and the two-work hand in hand for the congregation. In the past the fund has supported projects including the fiber optic cable installation, security door repair, elevator repair, parsonage retaining wall repair and parsonage roof shingling. You can imagine the problems if these items had to funded by the budget or a special offering!
I was recently at a Conference meeting at Our Saviors in Owatonna and got to see their beautiful sanctuary and meet more of our pastors. I learned that they have an on-site Federal Head Start that works with mostly Mexican migrant worker children and their kitchen is used to feed them. What a wonderful ministry that is and I saw blanket boxes there also for the quilts they do for the larger Lutheran Church. Several years ago, I was in the Holy Land at the Lutheran Hospital on the Mount of Olives that serves the Palestinians on the West Bank and saw several such quilts. It is great to see our involvement with Lutherans helping others around the world!
Finally, I want to say thank you to everyone who helped set up, serve and take down our trailer at Pioneer Power! I was there Friday to help cook and was impressed with the hard work so many were doing to help fund our summer camp program for our youth!
May God bless and you keep you close always,