“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  (Matthew 4:17)

When Jesus said this, he was calling for a godly sorrow over sin.  Yet, repentance is more; repentance is to turn from sin and toward the cross of Jesus Christ.  This Lent, we have weekly opportunities to reflect on the cross of Christ, and to take his yoke upon our own shoulders.

We will be experiencing a series of mid-week prayer services with meditations on the Sermon on the Mount.  This series takes us through some of Jesus’ most familiar teachings in Matthew 5-7, and relates them to the events surrounding Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.  In the process, we will learn that the cross itself is the ultimate sermon on the mount for our journey of faith in this sacred season.  If you attend, I am certain you will find blessing.

Logistics:  We will begin at 6:00 pm with a potluck meal for fellowship on each of the Lenten Wednesdays.  Everyone is invited to bring a dish to share.  Also, please bring your place setting and please pitch in to clear the tables as well.  Then all of us will be able to easily attend the services and not be left behind cleaning up in the kitchen.  Worship (evening prayer) beings at 7:00 pm.  We have invited members of Prince of Peace and St. John, Champion, to join us as well, so be on the lookout for newcomers.

Pastor Ann Marie Perkins


YOUTH-LED SERVICE ON ASH WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6:  On Ash Wednesday, we will have as many of our children and youth as possible (ages 9 through high school) participating in our worship.  All of these children and youth on our roster have been invited to participate, and everyone is welcome.  They will be rehearsing their roles on Ash Wednesday, March 6, at 5:00 pm in the sanctuary.  At 6:00 pm we will enjoy a potluck supper, so bring your favorite dish to share.  In order that the Fellowship Committee that works behind the scenes in the kitchen may be able to have a speedy cleanup, let’s all do our part:  Bring your own place setting (plate, utensils, cup, etc.), be responsible for picking up and cleaning your own dish, and clear your place and place items in the trash.  At 7:00 pm we will all be ready to attend our Ash Wednesday worship service together.


TETÉLESTAI:  Cleveland Performing Arts Ministries’ musical passion play “Tetélestai” will be presented at Champion Christian Church, 151 Center St. W., Warren, OH  44481, on March 8, 9, and 10Tetélestai’s dramatic stage production and timeless music tell the story of Jesus’ trial, execution, and resurrection in a visual way that will leave a lasting impression.  This is a great way to prepare for the Holy Days of the Easter season.  Performances will be at 8:00 pm on Friday and Saturday and 2:00 pm on Sunday.  Doors will open approximately one hour before performance time.  There is no charge, but free-will offerings will be accepted.  For more information, please visit:  Tetélestai is a registered service mark of Tetélestai, Inc.


TWO EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR SPECIAL GIVING THIS LENT:  (1) Our Helping Hands offerings are used throughout the year when people from the congregation and the community come to St. Paul for help.  There is no budget item for this kind of discretionary aid.  Pastor Perkins relies on this special giving to respond to local people’s special needs.  You may put your offerings in the wooden box in the narthex, or take home a “Lenten Gift” box from the table in the narthex to collect your offerings.  Return your boxes on Easter Sunday.  (It is very helpful if you can convert coins to bills or a check when you return your donation.)  (2) Noisy Offering:  ELCA World Hunter Appeal sponsors 40 days of giving during Lent.  Last year, we purchased a cow, chickens, and goats for needy families to supply themselves with a food source.  Let’s see if we can match our giving of last Lent with a total of $200.00.  Our children will be passing the Noisy Offering jars for your donations each Sunday between March 10 and April 7.  Let’s be generous as our Father in heaven is generous with us!


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 March will be on Saturdays, March 9 and 23, from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm.  Please contact Brenda Ceplecci or Pastor Perkins to help.


SPECIAL EVENT:  Come join our Grand-families’ support group for a Special Event.  Are you caring for a child who has experienced a trauma?  Join us as we welcome Tim Schaffner, Executive Director of Trumbull County Children’s Services, who will make a presentation on the effects of trauma on children and tips for dealing with their behaviors.  The presentation will be held on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at 10:30 am with brunch and conversation at noon at St. Paul Lutheran Church.   PLEASE RSVP by March 20 so we may plan seating, brunch, and free childcare.  Call Pastor Perkins  or Brenda Ceplecci.


CALLING ALL TEENS:  Winter Jam Tour Spectacular 2019 – Come hear the Newsboys, Dan Gokey, Jen Ledger, and more…Sunday, March 31, 6:00-10:00 pm at Wolstein Center, 2000 Prospect Ave. E., Cleveland, OH.  For more information, talk to Liz Chapin or Pastor Perkins.