“God’s Treasure”: Our Annual Stewardship Appeal
Our three week Stewardship appeal this year begins on September 22 and ends with a celebration of Consecration of our gifts and refreshments after worship on October 6. During these three weeks, we will focus on the theme that “God’s good treasure is entrusted to us.”
In the first week, we will consider the question, “What is our true treasure?” We will delve into a difficult parable from Luke about a dishonest steward, and also consider Jesus’ command “to serve God, not wealth”.
During week two, Paul’s first letter to Timothy instructs the faithful: “We are to do good, be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that we may take hold of the life that really is life.”
Finally in this stewardship series, we will focus on guarding the good treasure God has entrusted to us (2 Tim. 1:14) with the help of the Holy Spirit. With faith and humility, we are to hope and trust in the goodness of God.
Watch your mail for a letter introducing the appeal in early September, and a second letter with a commitment card to be brought to worship with you on October 6. Thank you for your response to+ “God’s Treasure”.
“Generous Giving makes a Big Difference every day”
We enjoy so many ministries that serve our members and reach out into the community. If you need a reminder of all we are and all we do, pick up a copy of the annual report from the church office. In it you will find a testimony to our dynamic ministries. We are sustaining a vibrant worship life, education for all members, fun fellowship times, and a ministry of evangelism. A few of our latest efforts include:
- A new Youth Director. I am especially grateful for the new Youth Director, Stacey Altiere, who is making it possible to grow a new teen youth group, and to provide more programs for children and families throughout the year. But we have to stretch our budget to assure her continuing presence with us.
- The Grand-Families group continues to serve community members who struggle with raising grandchildren and need the support and love that members of this church can provide.
- Celebrate Recovery is a program to help heal the hurts, habits, and hang-ups that keep our neighbors from enjoying freedom in God’s abundant love for us. As we organize a core group to explore how the program works, we see that it will also bring newcomers into our midst for ministry at St. Paul.
We are a vibrant church, growing stronger and younger, and our impact in the community matters to us and to Warren. Let’s keep growing with confidence in God’s abundant blessings as we give of ourselves and our resources to serve Him.
Rev. Ann Marie Perkins
WHAT IS GODLY PLAY AND WHO NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT IT? Godly Play is a way of biblical storytelling for children that uses props and figures to tell major stories of the bible and to introduce a sense of wonder and awe in the child. Pastor Ann Marie and the Mossor family have been gathering materials and practicing the telling of seven key stories over the summer months. The story trays are organized in a cart for the use of our children beginning this fall. So far, we have collected materials for the following stories: The Holy Family, Creation, The Ark and the Flood, the Great Family, the Exodus, the Ten Best Ways, and the Prophet Jonah.
On Sunday, September 22, Andrea Hall, a trained Godly Play teacher, will be coming to St. Paul to give a workshop that will orient us to the best practices for using these resources. Any parents of children under 12, Sunday School teachers, and nursery caregivers are invited to attend and learn about this fun, creative teaching resource. We will meet after worship (at 11:30 am) and enjoy a simple pizza lunch along with the workshop.
PROGRAM UPDATE ON “CELEBRATE RECOVERY”: Many of you read in the August Seasons Newsletter that Celebrate Recovery is a weekly meeting to help the healing of painful “habits, hurts, and hang-ups”. It is a step-program based on the beatitudes of Jesus, and a personal relationship with Christ. Marty Maurice, our Evangelism Chairperson, and Pastor Ann Marie briefly presented the program at our August Council meeting. Since then, we have gathered a team of six to explore more about how the program works: Nola Bennett, Debbie Illencik, Jim Kuzman, Anna Lacy, and Marty Maurice are joining Pastor Ann Marie as the steering team. We met on August 26 to see an introductory video (it can be watched on YouTube by anyone who is curious: “Rick Warren: 7 Reasons I Believe in Celebrate Recovery”). The steering team also looked at a sample worship DVD and a newcomer’s video. We skimmed over “getting started” training materials in the Leaders’ Guide. With great enthusiasm, we decided to attend the September 12 meeting of Celebrate Recovery at First Friends Church in Salem, Ohio. We will keep you posted!
Things We Are,
Things We Are Not
Things We ARE:
A safe place to share
A place of belonging
A place to care for others and be cared for
Where respect is given to each member
Where confidentiality is highly regarded
A place to learn
A place to grow and become strong again
Where you can take off your mask
A place for healthy challenges and healthy risks
A possible turning point in your life
Things We Are NOT:
A place for selfish control
A place for secrets
A place to look for dating relationships
A place to rescue or be rescued by others
A place for perfection
A long-term commitment
A place to judge others
A quick fix
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 September will be on Saturdays, September 14 and 28, from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm. Please contact Brenda Ceplecci or Pastor Perkins to help.
FELLOWSHIP BREAKFAST: There is some interest in forming a fun group for fellowship. Jean Waris (a newcomer to St. Paul) and Diana Bauman will be meeting in the group room at Perkins restaurant (Rt. 46 across from the Eastwood Mall) on Saturday, September 7, at 9:30 am. Come have a delicious breakfast and fellowship time. Please sign up in the narthex.