For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established” Proverbs 16:3
Friends and Members of St. Paul’s,
Over the years I have heard many a believer wonder about God’s direction or plan in their life. The scenario’s which cause such a question involve one’s work, family, schooling, service in the church, and the like. It is noteworthy that according to the above verses God plans/paths/ good works are in the plural and not the singular. Might it be that we are can get overly hung up on a specific route in life that we think God should take us, and then fail to see the many ways our gracious Savior is presently working and will continue to work in our lives for the sake of his kingdom? I am of the belief that his plans for our lives are so numerous they cannot be counted. Rather than concern ourselves with this or that plan, trust that your living, forgiving, and powerful Savior will continue to fulfill his will in this world through you, in spite of you, and in this world in which we live.
In our Savior’s Service,
Our Summer Discipleship Journey Sermon Series: This weeks theme is titled “A Journey Lightly packed” based on Luke 10:1-12. Next week (July 14th) “A Journey with our neighbor in mind” Luke 10:25-37. Recent sermons can be found in the audio file http://stpauls-lcms.org/page25.html
National Youth Gathering: This year we have seven high school students, two college students, and two adults who will be attending the July 11th to 15th LCMS national youth gathering in Minneapolis, MN. Please keep these participants in your prayers. A free will offering will be taken following each service to help defray expenses at the gathering.
Missionary Visit this Wednesday: This past week I heard from Kip and Ivy Hoech, whom we have helped support as missionaries in Central Asia. They will be meeting me for dinner on Wednesday night, and then here at the church at 6:30 to discuss their missionary work in Africa. Please join us on Wednesday night (July 10th), and meet our missionaries.
Rise Against Hunger Fellowship Event: Sunday, August 18th after the 9am worship service. The goal of this event is to package 10,000 meals in an hour and a half in the fellowship hall at the church. We need at least 75 people to assist with this event (invite your friends and neighbors). We also need to raise 3800 to help pay for the meals which will feed 50 children overseas for a year. The Board of Christian Caring (The Food bank) is offering a 1,000 dollar for dollar match for this event. Please make checks out to “St. Paul’s Lutheran Church” and place in the memo line “Rise against Hunger” (or place this on a separate note). If you want to donate cash, do so on a separate envelope. Friends of the congregation are welcome to join us for this event.
One Sunday Service in August: By now you have heard of the one 9am Sunday worship service in August. Our tentative plan is to have the following “congregational” activities after the Sunday Service. On August 4th a missionary speaker Tek-lu Ke-tema from Ethiopia who is currently vicaring at Salem Lutheran Church in Afton will speak on outreach in Ethiopia
The Loss of a Spouse Seminar will be held Tuesday, July 23, from 2pm to 3:30pm, at Good Shepherd Lutheran, 1300 Beltline Rd, Collinsville, downstairs in the conference room. Anyone who has lost a spouse to death can attend. You will receive a booklet with over 30 short readings on how to live with grief and eventually rebuild your life. I hope you will consider attending. Call Jeanette at the church 344-3151 or email email@example.com to register or for more information.
Survey on the parsonage. The Board of Trustees is conducting a simple survey to help facilitate discussion on what to do with the parsonage. Please mark your preference as to whether the congregation should sell or keep the parsonage, and place these in the “ballot box” in the narthex.
Food Bank Update: On July 3rd 14 households were served including 29 adults and 12 children. The current needs include plastic shopping bags, tomato sauce, Favioli, Milk Products, Tea and Popcorn. Please bring items to the church office or the storage container on the lower stairwell near the fellowship hall.
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Portals of Prayer: The July-September daily devotional/prayer book is available for fee in the narthex (church entryway).
Church Web Site: http://stpauls-lcms.org/ Please contact Josh Colyer for any updates to web site. firstname.lastname@example.org. 618-334-4525
“I have said these things to you; that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart: I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,
“There has to be a reason or a purpose for going through what I’m going through.” We are Christians, and for that reason we know that our loving God is in charge, and that nothing happens outside of his understanding. When we go through life’s challenges, inevitably we inquire concerning the “why”, and try to envision something positive God is bringing in this midst of these difficulties. I’m not saying this isn’t so, and that you cannot find Scripture passages that express this very thing. However, often this side of heaven, figuring out God’s specific purpose in the midst of our challenges is rather illusive. For that reason, I think we are better off focusing on God’s gracious presence in Christ, and his promises through the Savior. Let me suggest that the next time you go through one of those difficult times and think “there has got to be a reason”, hear and read God’s Word and soak in the promises and gracious presence of your loving Savior (See above verse) . Presence and promise living verses purpose living…….the former just might be a better way to go!
Yours in Christ,
Sermon Theme: This weekend we are continuing our “Summer Discipleship Journey” under the theme “A journey with His Word at our side” based on Luke 10:38-42. The other Scripture passages are Genesis 18:1-10a, and Colossians 1:21-29.
Youth Assistance: The youth will be helping out with Greeting and Ushering this Sunday, and a trio will be playing their Clarinet during the offering at the l0:30am service.
Youth Update on the National Youth Gathering: The youth will be giving a presentation about their time during the National Youth Gathering at the 7/28 potluck (11:45am). We invite you to bring your favorite dish and join us in the fellowship hall to hear their presentation.
Romans 6: This chapter will be the focus of this Sunday’s Bible class (9:15am in the Fellowship Hall)
Food Pantry: On July 17th they served 24 households, which included 60 adults and 17 children. Their current needs are: Jelly/jam, instant mashed potatoes, canned tomatoes and beef broth.
Rise against Hunger Fellowship Event: Approximately $1200 has been pledged from groups in the congregation for this event. We will need $2600 to pay for the supplies that will make 10,000 meals, which will pay for approximately 50 children in a year. This event takes place on Sunday, August 18th. If you are donating for this event please make checks out to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, and place them in an envelope marked ”Rise against Hunger.” Cash can be donated in a similar type of envelope. Friends of the congregation are invited to this event.
Flyer Handout: This Sunday/Monday everyone will receive two flyers, with at least one encouraging friends/neighbors to attend the 9am August services and the fellowship events that will follow.
Voter’s Meeting: Sunday, July 28th at 12:15pm following the congregational potluck dinner.