An Abundance of Blessing for St. Paul

The Lord says, “I will surely open the windows of heaven and pour down blessings upon you.”  (Malachi 3:10b)

In the book of the prophet Malachi, of the Old Testament, God is commanding the people of Israel to provide for the poor and needy, and to give offerings generously.  If they follow in the Lord’s ways, they will be surely blessed with a great abundance.  At St. Paul, we prayed for a youth director who could serve us, and we have been doubly blessed.  We are being showered with the blessings of two people “job-sharing” the youth director position:  Matthew Vinson, a young Army veteran who hopes to go to seminary in the future, will be joining us this month.

We had decided in April to create a youth director position by stretching our resources to hire a person for 10 hours a week.  Stacey Altiere has been doing a wonderful job on the groundwork – there has been a visioning evening, and a plan for a vacation bible school in August.  She has meet with our teens and they have prepared a summer calendar, including a lock-in, a spaghetti dinner fundraiser, help at the Strawberry Social and the Rummage Sale, and other service events to be added.  Of course we hope the mid-summer servant week will be their most intensive and rewarding endeavor.

The youth director position was designed by us to be a half-time position (20 hours per week) and, so far, the other half of the job has not been undertaken.  God has moved in our midst by his Holy Spirit, and Matthew Vinson will be sharing the position with Stacey beginning mid-June, for a total of 20 hours per week between them.  We will have Matthew as a male “Big Brother” figure and Stacey as a female “Mother” for our kids to look up to.  They are eager to job share and St. Paul’s youth will benefit from the combination of the talents they bring.  Please take another moment to read Matthew’s bio below.


MEET MATTHEW VINSON:  Hi, my name is Matthew Vinson.  I just finished my time as a Soldier in the U.S. Army as a member of the 2nd Infantry Division.  I am a life-long Lutheran and grew up as a pastor’s kid (PK).  After graduating high school as a certified Firefighter/EMT, I went to Itasca Community College for a year and then Purdue University for a year studying Mechanical Engineering.  This was just not my passion and that is how I ended up in the Army.  My time in the Army was eye-opening and full of discernment, but unfortunately it ended a little early due to a training injury.  As a youth, I was very active in the life of the church.  I was my congregation’s Lutheran Youth Organization (LYO) President, served as Vice President of the Southwestern Minnesota Synod LYO, and Co-President of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod LYO.  My father is the campus pastor at Purdue University and I have sat in on many of the bible studies and retreats he has lead.  My fiancé is finishing her degree at Cleveland State in Pre-Med and is an Ohio native.  I look forward to serving the congregation as we work and grow in faith and discipleship together.


CELEBRATE GRAND-FAMILIES“Celebrate Grand-families” is a support group for grandparents raising their grandchildren.  St. Paul is reaching out to support these families with Christian compassion and a place to meet and discuss their needs.  We now have 17 families who participate, and more are welcome, if you know of anyone who would fit in.  While the women meet, we will have crafts, games, bible stories, snacks, help with homework, tutoring, and a fun social time for children.  Church members are needed to help with the children.  Sessions in June will be on Saturdays, June 8 and 22, from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm.  Please contact Brenda Ceplecci or Pastor Perkins to help.