Message from Bro Steve
As we celebrate the coming of another year, (2015 – can you believe it?), let’s look back at 2014.
The biggest thing that happened at St. Paul’s UMC last year was the re-chartering of United Methodist Women. Not only has this group been re-chartered, they are charged up. They are very active, both inside the church and out into the world.
We have continued to do other things as well. VBS for Grownups has received much attention, and it was fantastic, but we also continued to help with the third Saturday Cook & Serve outreach and had regular VBS. When we put this with several Bible Studies and special worship services we see how active we have been.
We lost many dedicated members last year, but the church continued to grow. The choir is growing and the monthly Chip-n-Tater skits help bring in new people. Look around during worship. Notice how many faces are there that were not there even two years ago. That is exciting.
I have said over and over during the past three years that we can and will make a difference, now we are seeing how that is happening.
Don’t stop now, the work is not done. We will celebrate 50 years at this campus in February. This church has experienced the ups and downs that come with life during those 50 years. Guess what? We are still here. We are still proclaiming the gospel and still making a difference in our world. That is cause for celebration.
Happy New Year!!! Now let’s get busy.
Saturday St. Paul’s members hosted the Second Street Cook N Serve, serving chill and cornbread. Health kits and clothing were given to all who came for this truly free lunch. As always everyone received a blessing especially those who had the privilege of serving this meal. Join us next month for your own chance to serve others through this ministry of love on Second Street.
St. Paul’s Christmas party followed the December 14th Sunday morning service. Fun, fellowship and a skit just as Bro Steve promised were the highlights of a great meal. It is such a blessing when God’s children get together and share. Plan on attending our next church wide meal 4th Sunday following the service
Thursday, December 4, 2014 started our advent studies. The Wesleyan Way- A Faith That Matters is the new study. It is a curriculum based study that addresses the most pressing questions of life and faith. We meet at 5:30 for food and fellowship. Since we had potatoes left over from this weeks fifth Sunday lunch, Bro Steve made his famous baked potato soup.
Join us for the next installment of this thought provoking study of Wesleyan answers to the important questions of the Christian faith.
* Week one we discussed salvation, its meaning and how it guides our lives as Christians.
*Week two we explored God as Love, what our purpose is in this world. As Adam Hamilton, the senior Pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, said in the video presentation “God is love. We are meant to live a life of love, to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. And that love isn’t a warm mushy feeling. It’s an action.” We explored this in but the Old and New Testaments of the Bible and discussed the meaning for our lives.
Join us next week to discuss “It’s a Good World with Issues”. The Wesleyan Way is faithful to Scripture by focusing on the three primary messages of Genesis. We ar made in God’s image – all of us. The guess video speaker will be Olu Brown, Lead Pastor of the Impact United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, talking about the “Hands and Feet of Christ”. Bro Steve is making his legendary Red Beans. So join us Thursday, December 18th for Food and Fellowship and thought provoking Bible study.
Join our choir and help us praise God through song. The choir rehearses on Saturday morning from 9:30 till 10:30 am. All are welcome. It’s all about praising the Lord!
Oh no! Christmas is coming! Every year it seems that this final holiday of the year comes with a little more gusto. Don’t get me wrong – I love Christmas! I am a little kid trapped in a bigger kid’s body, and it doesn’t take much to let that inner eight year old out.
The question is this: What is Christmas really about? If you said giving, you were mostly right. Christmas is the time we celebrate the greatest gift of all, God’s gift of His Son Jesus. I have absolutely no problem with this at all. I do have to ask the question, Is this really what we are celebrating?
What are you giving this Christmas? For so many of us Christmas has become the celebration of giving a bunch of plastic junk, wrapped in pretty paper. I give things that people really don’t need or want to some people I really don’t know. I look at the way our society thrives in this time of ‘I want’ and it almost makes me sick. God gave His only Son, and we give fruitcake.
I will ask the question again: What are you giving for Christmas? It’s okay to give people gifts. It’s okay to have parties and bonuses. It’s okay to gather with friends and family, that’s what makes this season fun – and it’s okay to have fun.
As we celebrate this year, give a gift that matters. Show God’s love by feeding or clothing a stranger. Go to a nursing home and visit people that many have forgotten. Sing a song, out loud! Let people see the gift God gave by the things you do. That’s what Christmas is really about.
Saturday the members of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church served potato soup and all the fixing to 250 people at ‘Cook N’ Serve’ on second street. It was a chilly 50 degrees, a perfect day for the hot soup lunch that was enjoyed by 250 people from the second street area in Lufkin. St. Paul’s serves a free lunch to all who come on every third Saturday of the month. Volunteer to be a part of this ministry to share God’s love by serving others in need.
United Methodist Women meet Thursdays at 11:30am in the Fellowship Hall of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.
St.Paul’s United Methodist Women will meet on Dec. 18th at 11:30 am. Each lady is asked to bring a wrapped fun gift (limit $5.00) to exchange. Bonnie Killam will install the officers for 2015. Snacks will be provided by the officers so, you don’t need to bring a sack lunch, All ladies are welcome to come and have a party with us!!