Pastor’s Pen August 2020

Dear Members and Friends:

Just a few days ago we finished VBS or maybe I should say VVBS – Virtual Vacation Bible School!  We took the Rocky Railway through some fabulous places and learned that Jesus’ power and love pulls us through.  We traveled through the Bible Box Car, Energy Express, Caboose Crafts, and Tune Tanker.  Many thanks to the conductors, engineers, passenger guides, and entertainment team – Bev Grazioli, Trish Colbridge, Krissy Soltesz, Jackie Smith, Jon Soltesz, Joan Dunlevy, Rosanne Scassero, Nana Sambucci, Laurie Maccri, and Marisa Bozarth.  You all kept us on the track of growing in Jesus’ power and love.  We’re all praying that next summer it will be IPVBS (In Person Vacation Bible School)!

Now that VBS is finished Bev and I are planning for fall Confirmation classes.  We’ll likely start virtually on the St. Paul’s Zoom account.  Our student and parent orientation will be Sunday, 20 SeptemberCheck the September Chimes for all the details.  All seventh and eighth graders are welcome to participate in our Confirmation program.  Parents, members, and friends are invited to join our Christ-centered sessions any time.  When will the Rite of Affirmation of Baptism take place for the youth who finished their classes and are now in ninth grade?  We don’t know yet.  We don’t know because we are still in the midst of the pandemic, infections are surging in many places across the country, and our first priority is the safety of the kids, our volunteers, and staff.  The Council and Virtual Sunday Worship Team continue to listen to public health experts, Church Mutual Insurance, and our presiding and synod bishops in deciding when it is safe to come back for in person worship and classes.  Stay tuned for the latest news from the Council.

I pray for each of you every day and I give thanks to God for your participation in the Gospel here at St. Paul’s.  The Council and some Call Committee members are making calls as one of the ways to stay connected while we live through the pandemic.  Our virtual, live-streaming worship is another way we stay connected.  Still, it isn’t too easy to feel close when we can’t be close.  We have to wear masks.  We run into the store, get what we need, get out, and back to the safety of our home as quickly as possible.  Your team is ready to worship in person outside when the weather is better.  We’ll let you know as soon as possible.  In the meantime, we’ll keep praying for one another and for a bit cooler weather.

The Council and I thank you so very much for your generosity.  St. Paul’s continues to serve the community with donations to the food pantry and more.  The Property Team has taken care of some routine maintenance – the parking lot is sealed, the nave is painted, storm related roof repair is complete, and they’re working on replacing broken floor tiles.  Rich Moyer, our Vice President, checks the building every morning to ensure all is well and there are no floods anywhere.  Thank you to all who keep St. Paul’s looking beautiful!

So again, thank you for your generosity!  St. Paul’s will be polished and shining when it’s safe to come back in person.  Until then, “I’ll see you” Sunday morning for worship on Facebook.  God’s peace and blessings be with you all this summer.

Your partner in the Gospel,
Pastor Elaine

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