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Much has happened in the two months since I first introduced myself to you as your pastor at St. Paul’s UMC.  The renovations on the exterior of the church continue. If you have passed the church, I am sure you have noticed how beautiful the stained-glass windows look.  A new drop ceiling and insulation is being installed in Graham Christopher Hall. I am grateful to all the those who have helped clean up the Sanctuary, classrooms, food pantry and conference room after the demolition of the old ceiling. More importantly, I have been privileged to worship with you in your beautiful church. Aside from restorations, there is much to be done to restore order to St. Paul’s.  The UMC Book of Discipline ¶340 details the Responsibilities and Duties of Elders and Licensed Pastors which includes the fourfold ministry of Word, Sacrament, Order, and Service.  While I take all these responsibilities seriously, I would like to focus on Order which includes: (1) To be the administrative officer of the local church and to assure that the organizational concerns of the congregation are adequately provided for; (2) to administer the temporal affairs of the church; (3) to participate in denominational and conference programs and training opportunities; and, (4) To lead the congregation in racial and ethnic inclusiveness. I have met with the church council and several other committees and made it clear that I will be fully engaged in the operation of the church. We cannot accomplish the mission, vision and goals of St. Paul’s unless and until the order of the church is restored.  I cannot do this without your help. We are all called by God to serve together. We are part of the body of Christ and must be united in service. To do this, everything we do, no matter how trivial, from buying paper supplies to serving in the community, must be done to the honor and glory of God. I invite you to answer God’s call to serve God at St Paul’s UMC.  There is much to be done and I truly believe that that God has blessed you with the spiritual gifts necessary to serve as God wants you to serve. What’s more, God has blessed those united in service at St. Paul’s with the collection of spiritual gifts necessary to accomplish what God wants this faith community to accomplish. Empowered by the Holy Spirit and with the full power of God’s grace working in us, we can come together and answer God’s call to serve.   Blessings,     Pastor Lillian



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