July 31, 2020 (late edition)
Dear Church Family,
This week, the highlight of my reading was an article from the Baptist News Worldwide. The article touched my heart as it talked about what love looks like. No, before you expect it to be about gushing hearts and flowers and flowery words, it talked about the hard work of love and what that looks like. It encouraged the reader to not turn away when things seem ugly and not very pretty but to stay the course, love no matter what, even when it’s hard.
I tell you all every week that you are loved and beloved. I tell the kids they are loved and beloved, each time we gather, I say it often, not to be pretty or trite but to remind us all that when things are tough you remain loved and a beloved child of God.
The writer of this week’s article talked about love told a story of a priest friend of his who used to stop by his grandparents every time he came home from college. His grandfather had had a stroke and was unable to speak or feed himself. His grandmother would have it no other way than to have him at home so she, no medical experience, could care for him. He said one Friday night when he stopped at their home, he opened the front door and it was clear things were amiss, there was the food from the feeding tube food running down his grandfather’s bib, his grandmother red faced and visibly upset and he explained, I instinctively backed out of the door and closed it behind me, thinking “I needed to respect their privacy.” His grandmother hollered for him to get back in there, that he needed to see this. She explained, this is what love looks like sometimes, it’s hard and messy, it can hurt and make you sad, but you continue to love anyway, you can’t just look away when it gets tough! I’m sure many spouse or parent or child caregivers can relate. He said his grandmother said to him “Love makes us look. And in looking, we are compelled to act.”
There have been a lot of images that have crossed our paths in the past months and weeks from protests, to gun violence, to the Covid-19 illness, the death of the civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis and C. T. Vivian, to the blatant fighting and hateful things being said and acted out right in our communities. Standing up and standing in when trouble befalls around us isn’t always pretty, it can be downright scary and hard and truly not easy to look at. But just as the priest’s grandmother said “look,” don’t back away. Look, this is what love looks like. We too must look and by looking we must be called to action for all our brothers and sisters. If you see one hurting then act in a way to be a peace maker, an empathetic ear or a shoulder to lean on or a moral support, look and see a way to love don’t turn away because it isn’t pretty, look, act, show love and grace.
What have you seen that you have a hard time looking at that maybe, just maybe you can act from place of love to stand up, to reach out, to help in a peaceful and grace filled way?
In our daily prayers…
There are times I feel like I may miss someone who has asked for prayer. Ever feel like that? Ever forget? I try to remember and try to write it down, sometimes I can and I know there are times I forget. However, I always ask God to be with those whom I cannot remember, be with those who have asked for prayers that maybe I did not write down, be with all the unspoken requests because I rest assured that God knows and doesn’t forget. This week I ask you to do the same thing. Be in prayer for all the known and unknown, unspoken or forgotten prayer requests with me if you would. Let us pray…
Happy Happy Days to…
August 3 marks the wedding anniversary of Drew & Autumn Faust
August 4 marks a special birthday for Dave Wagner
Let us give thanks to God for these special occasions and gifts each are to us all!
Announcements, announcements, announcements…
Change the World coin boxes. Remember those? Still have them? We have collected some of them back in that were given out on the first Sunday of Lent. They were orginally due back in on Palm Sunday, however we have not been able to gather since then. If you still have a coin box for us, would you call the church office ASAP (570) 568-1433, we have collected $263 for Our Church’s Wider Mission ministries.
What’s your sign? Saint Paul’s Yard Signs are here! Yard signs are available at the church during office hours. Help us spread the word “Welcome home to…Saint Paul’s…Welcoming Saints and Sinners since 1900” (and they include our web address).
New Office Hours: Our new office hours will be: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursdays and closed on Fridays. Our goal is to meet the needs of the faith community and be as accessible as possible.
Pastor Tim’s office hours include both virtual (Monday & Wednesday) and in-person office hours (Tuesdays & Thursdays) with time off Wednesday afternoon and Friday. You may contact Pastor Tim through the church office (570) 568-1433. In emergency situations please use my cell phone (570) 975-9536.
Please note: As per guidelines we ask that if you are coming to the church you sign-in and wear a mask.
Saint Paul’s is now coming to you LIVE from 2 platforms….
Ways to connect to worship:
We've heard your feedback and while we love having everyone join us on FB LIVE for our Sunday morning worship, we know another option is important. We are pleased to announce that this Sunday you can watch us LIVE on Facebook or YouTube. We are now broadcasting live to both platforms Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. Aren't sure how to subscribe and get connected on YouTube? Contact the church office for details.
Not been on YouTube or not a subscriber. While you don’t have to subscribe to watch via YouTube you can and the more subscribers the church has the better opportunity we have to reach out.
Here’s what to do:
1. Go to the church website www.spuccwm.org.
2. Click on the YouTube “Come join us live.”
3. If you are watching us via YouTube and you are willing or want to subscribe to our “channel” click on the “Subscribe” button below the video.
4. If you have questions, email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Geri will get the question to the right person to help.
For questions or suggestions as to how we can better serve you, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are continually trying to improve our online offerings and appreciate, very much your support and help.
May grace, hope, peace and love abound.