Join us as we dive into the core of our Generosity
In October we will begin an initiative to create a renewed spirit of Extravagant Generosity at St. Paul UMC. We will be asking you to prayerfully consider how you can contribute your time, your talents, your service, your witness, and your gifts to the ministries and programs of our church so that we can live out our call as followers of Christ. We will be particularly focused on seeking ways to extend the vibe that is already going on here to meet the financial needs of the church.
Join us in our Daily Devotions Starting on October 2nd
Extravagant Generosity Daily Devotions
Monday October 15, 2018
Dear St. Paulers,
Charles Schulz has managed to amuse and bridge generations with his characters, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Pig Pen, and company. With their own special brand of charm, they often provoke laughter and pause for thought, as Lucy constantly doles out unsolicited advice. You may remember the episode when Charlie Brown seeks psychiatric advice from Lucy. Lucy tells Charlie Brown that life is like a deck chair on the cruise ship of life. What you have to decide, Lucy says, is whether you want your deck chair to face backward so you can see where you have been, or if you want your deck chair to face forward so you can see where you are going. Exasperated, Charlie Brown responds, “I’m having trouble just getting my deck chair unfolded!”
Let’s strive to be a congregation with our deck chairs facing forward. This week, give some thought to what you see ahead. Try to describe one or two things you would like to see happen in our church, which contributes to fulfilling our God-given mission. I am eager to see how God is speaking through our hearts, as we express and share our hopes and visions for the future.
We will use the Heart Cards you will receive in worship or our church’s facebook page https://www.facebook.com/stpaulgrantpark/ to write down these things on Sunday October 22nd. Your card will be added to our growing, inspiring displays throughout the church. I hope you have been able to see some of the member comments on various displays.
What are your hopes and visions for our church?
Rev. Cassie Rapko, Pastor
“I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions; I speak to them in dreams.” (Numbers 12:6b, NRSV)
Monday October 8, 2018
Dear St. Paulers,
God’s love for the church is a mystery, beyond our understanding. Yesterday in Worship our hearts were inspired by expressions of love for our church, shared by members. God works in many ways. One way we experience God is through people. Our strong bonds of fellowship within our church family nurture meaningful relationships, which influence our lives in a great way. We hold special relationships with friends and loved ones very close to our hearts.
This week, think about people in our church family who have made a difference in your life. Maybe the person has taught a class you have attended, or it could be those who invest in your children, or a greeter who welcomes you each Sunday and holds the door open with a smile. This is a unique opportunity to express your gratitude.
We will write the names of these special people on Heart Cards you will receive in worship this week or on our church’s facebook page https://www.facebook.com/stpaulgrantpark/ . I suspect you will have a long list, but try to limit your responses to one or two, so you will have room to write a brief comment about how the person has influenced your spiritual life.
These cards will be added to our displays throughout the church so everyone can celebrate with you. Take a moment to enjoy some of the comments on Heart Cards displayed from last week. There will be additional blank Heart Cards available in worship.
Also do not forget about our ongoing Daily Devotions available on the Church’s website. Extravagant Generosity Daily Devotion We hope these Devotions will inspire you as we move throughout this series this month.
Who in our church family has made a difference in your spiritual life?
Rev. Cassie Rapko, Pastor
“When you extend hospitality to Christian brothers and sisters, even when they are strangers, you make the faith visible.” (3 John 1:5, The Message)
Monday October 1, 2018
Hello St. Paulers!
Once in a great while, something comes along and unexpectedly captures our minds and hearts. That has been my experience in planning for our special October series called Extravagant Generosity: The Heart of Giving. You will not want to miss one of the four Sundays planned, as we explore and celebrate matters of our hearts. I pray this will be a very meaningful time for our congregation.
In preparation, we are sending you two important tools: a devotional guide, Practicing Extravagant Generosity: Daily Readings on the Grace of Giving and a “Heart Card.” The daily devotional guide will inspire your spirit as you explore the thought provoking posts. This guide will be available on the church website at www.stpaulgrantpark.org or on the St. Paul facebook page each day https://www.facebook.com/stpaulgrantpark/ We are asking the church family to move through this devotional guide together, so please, begin using it starting tomorrow, October 2nd.
The Heart Card is for you to consider so you can complete it at church next Sunday. We will have the cards available during Worship. With this Heart Card, we ask you to share what you love most about our church. Space is limited, so give it some thought. Maybe it is a special event, Bible study, worship, fellowship times, Sunday school class, or the welcoming spirit of the church; it might be a particular ministry or program. There will also be a place on our facebook page for you to share your responses
We will gather and display Heart Cards at special places throughout the church, so we can share and celebrate what we love about our church. There will be additional blank Heart Cards available in worship.
What do you love most about our church?
Rev. Cassie Rapko
“Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25b, CEB)