President's Message

March 2018

" The Lord must have loved ordinary people because he made so many of us...."

"In every single day, in every  walk of life, ordinary people do extraordinary things. Ordinary People accomplish Extraordinary things!:

Jim Valvano

N.C. State 1983

President's Message April, 2018

Words and Meaning

Greetings ,and as always, I hope that you are in good health and spirits as you read this. We are a third of the way through 2018 and about to convene for the semi-annual congregational meeting . We have been busy as a congregation as we prepared and celebrated the Resurrection of Our Lord. The youth have been busy supporting activities tied to the group that will travel to Houston. The new Women's Group is meeting regularly and the Evangelism Committee is working to create visibility in the community. I send a hearty thank you to everyone who has supported these and the other activities of our congregation. My vision of a more vibrant and growing church is becoming reality. It has taken the commitment of many of you to put St. Paul's higher in your list of priorities. Again, I say Thank You. And where will we be in 3 or 5 or 10 years? We can only guess, but I can safely say that if we don't change and are not open to changes in our worship and music, we will become a stagnant and uninviting place of worship. I am writing this because in the past month we have had some changes to the Sunday liturgy that some have not liked. But I hear this any time we make changes to the service. What I'd ask everyone to do is remain involved, be open to changes in the liturgy, and share concerns and suggestions with the Worship and Music Committee. We are a community of Lutherans, and we are a traditional congregation. But traditional does not mean we cannot bring change into our service. After 11 years, we brought new hymnals into St. Paul's. This is a comprehensive reference that has been overdue for introduction. In my life, this is, I think, the 4th Service Book and Hymnal to be used and deemed "current". I will learn to use it and embrace it. It is not perfect, and we will work to make services enjoyable and easy to follow. As the church seasons change, Pr. Carolyn and the Worship and Music Committee will work to explain why changes to the liturgy make sense. Change is part of the Lutheran tradition, going all the way back to Luther's desire to move the Catholic church to reform and change itself. The church has adapted from being a group of followers who contributed all their belongings to the community of believers, to a diverse group of denominations that mostly exist as a corporate model. These denominations seek others to "join" and become members of the church body while we pursue our secular lives away from church. Yet overall, the message for over 2000 years has been to remember that we receive God's grace through His Son who was sacrificed so that we might have eternal salvation. It is a debt that we can never repay. It is a debt so great that we cannot allow our human traits and actions become more important than remembering why we call ourselves Christians. This is a message that has been handed down through the centuries through many languages and methods. God has brought us together to be part of the community we call St. Paul's. I think of it as a family- a big family where we see some other family members more often than others. And as we work together, the chance we may have a disagreement becomes greater the more often we work together. However, problems and disagreements don't get solved by not talking about them. And walking away never solved a problem either. Thus, I close by encouraging everyone to commit to make this a stronger community of believers who are committed to vibrant growth and open communication. We can respectfully disagree; we can seek to understand positions and statements we don't agree with; and we can choose to be involved for positive change. But, please don't pull away from being involved. I'd like to see you all on Sunday.