•  — Edited

    Welcome to St. Paul's FaithLife Group. Through our FaithLife group you can listen to sermons, access FaithLife TV, participate in study groups, and keep updated on St. Paul news. In the future we will have the ability to provide digital bulletins and newsletters. Take some time, browse around, and connect with each other!
  • published a newsletter

    ReadApril 2020
    Cornerstone News
    From the Pastor . . .

    Good writing and speaking require word usage variety. Over the past month, such writing has been put on the back burner and replaced with articles and speeches containing one word: Unprecedented. Sometimes speakers will pause, just slightly, as if they are wanting to use a different word, but what other word describes our circumstances? 


    Webster’s online dictionary has this as the entry:



    un∙prec∙e∙dent∙ed l \ ǝn-pre-sǝ-den-tǝd \


    Definition of unprecedented


    : having no precedent: NOVEL, UNEXAMPLED


    Other Words from unprecedented

    unprecedentedly adverb


    Synonyms & Antonyms for unprecedented


    Synonyms

    Fresh, new, novel, original, strange, unaccustomed, unfamiliar, unheard-of, unknown


    Antonyms

    Familiar, hackneyed, old, time-honored, tired, warmed-over



    Unprecedented remains the word of the year and for good reason. We are in unprecedented times.

     

    The Spanish Flu of 1918 was another unprecedented event, but most of us were not around to experience it. Life was different then too. We are in uncharted territory and we have no idea how long this will last. We also don’t know how different life will be going forward. Nevertheless, we are in this together and we will get through it together.

     

    St. Paul staff have been working hard to stay connected to all of you. Through streaming on Facebook (http://facebook.com/stpaulbloomington ), Youtube (http://bit.ly/StPaulLive ), and our church website (http://stpaulbloomington.org/live ), we hope to help you continue to worship even though physically we can’t be together. 

    We are using video conferencing tools to do Bible Studies and our Lenten Focus gatherings. Faithlife has a messaging option that Karol, Aaron, and I use daily. We invite you to use Faithlife messaging as well (http://faithlife.com/stpaulbloomington). Aaron and I have also been checking in from time to time through video conferencing and streaming. 


    Not all of us have computers or the Internet so we have been making phone calls. If you don’t get online and would like a phone call, let us know. We are trying to figure out just who we need to reach out (and touch...did you get the reference) to.


    If you would like to help make calls, let us know! It would be great if, as a community of faith, we were calling and checking-in with one another. There are a few who are able and willing to pick stuff up at the grocery or pharmacy if you should not be getting out with the public. If you don’t have family or some other arrangement, let us know.  

     

    These are unprecedented times but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention another unprecedented event:

     

    Early on the first day of the week, they went to the tomb believing that their friend and Lord was dead, buried, and in the grave. They believed they would find his body and they would be able to prepare his body for burial. 

     

    Yet, when they arrived, the tomb was empty. This was not unprecedented because there were grave robbers and others who might have come and taken the body.

     

    What they finally realized was unprecedented. Jesus’ body wasn’t stolen, it was resurrected. Jesus came back from the dead. He wasn’t in the grave because that’s not where the living are! No! He was alive. It was, and still is, an unprecedented event. 

     

    Because of that unprecedented event, we can make it through this unprecedented one. No matter what happens, JESUS IS ALIVE! He still is alive. No matter what happens, he is with us!

     

    God stepped into the world, putting on flesh and bone. He lived among us, experiencing life as we have, except without sin. He healed, preached, and proclaimed God’s kingdom arriving. He was betrayed by a follower, railroaded by the religious authorities, tortured by Roman soldiers, crucified, killed, and buried. He rose again on the third day and ascended 40 days later. He became sin, so that, in him, we might become the righteousness of God! (2 Corinthians 5:21) Because of him, we have life abundant (John 10:10) and life everlasting (John 3:16). We are loved and accepted (Ephesians 1:6) in him! That, my friends, is truly unprecedented.


    May you have a blessed Easter and experience God’s unprecedented love and joy!

     

    Peace,

     

    David.




    1. published a newsletter

      ReadSpecial Edition - UPDATE
      St. Paul and Coronavirus (COVID-19)
      COVID-19 and Us

      1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High

          will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

      2 This I declare about the Lord:

      He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;

          he is my God, and I trust him.

      3 For he will rescue you from every trap

          and protect you from deadly disease.

      4 He will cover you with his feathers.

          He will shelter you with his wings.

          His faithful promises are your armor and protection. (Psalm 91:1-4)


      I've had some interesting times in church. There was one time when a squirrel, somehow, got into the church and the ushers were chasing him around downstairs while I was preaching upstairs. I've caught and removed three bats, dealt with leaky roofs (we had about 30 buckets in the sanctuary catching the rain), and had other crazy and sometimes difficult events.


      The past few weeks have been unlike anything I have ever experienced. The phrase "unprecedented times" now seems like a cliché. Yet, it isn't. It's where we find ourselves.


      On Monday, the Bishop of Indiana, Bishop Trimble, requested all Indiana United Methodist Churches to suspend worship services for four weeks in order to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus.


      In my wildest dreams, I never thought there would be a month without Sunday worship. I've heard that in 1918, during the Spanish Flu, churches suspended their worship services. That was a bit more than a hundred years ago. This is new territory for us.


      Nevertheless, the church isn't a building, but a people. We are still St. Paul United Methodist Church. We are still the church! 

      While we won't be able to gather in our building, it doesn't mean that we won't be gathering. Instead, we will utilize the power of technology to connect, learn, and worship. For those who don’t have the technology, we are trying to find other ways to connect.


      Our Plan


      Sunday Morning Worship: We will be live on Facebook Live and hopefully Youtube. and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxs05Cg-xpy_2nzqLXetDvQ


      During the week: We will be streaming at various times on Facebook and Youtube. Our Associate Pastor, Aaron Taylor, will be leading a Bible Study on Thursday evenings at 7pm. We will have our Lenten Focus groups on Facebook and Youtube as well (Wednesdays at 6:30 pm). Most facebook streaming will be at http://facebook.com/groups/StPaulLive. We will update the website when we know the service time (We will be streaming once on Sunday). I also hope to get streaming on our website as well.


      Giving: If you want to continue supporting St. Paul financially, and I hope you do, you can give by going to our website at http://stpaulbloomington.org and clicking on the “Online giving - Vanco” link. Or, you can send checks through the mail to the church office.


      For Those Without Internet: We still plan on connecting with those who do not have email or internet access. If you are interested in caring by calling, or caring by card writing, please let me know! We are creating a list of individuals who may need someone to deliver their groceries.


      High-Risk Category: If you are in a high-risk category and need someone to get groceries or help in some other way so you don’t have to go into public and risk exposure, please call the church office at 812-332-4191 or email me at david@stpaulbloomington.org.


      Church Office: We are restricting access to the church office to do our part in stopping the spread of the virus. Please call first if you need building access for some reason. The office phone number is 812-332-4191.


      I pray that within all the changes and disruptions we would see opportunities to love, share, and connect. May we continue to be who we are; the Church of Jesus sharing his amazing love!


      It is a joy to be your pastor. We will get through this. We will gather again. We still worship.


      Peace,


      David.

      1. COVID-19 and Us

        1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High

            will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

        2 This I declare about the Lord:

        He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;

            he is my God, and I trust him.

        3 For he will rescue you from every trap

            and protect you from deadly disease.

        4 He will cover you with his feathers.

            He will shelter you with his wings.

            His faithful promises are your armor and protection. (Psalm 91:1-4)


        I've had some interesting times in church. There was one time when a squirrel, somehow, got into the church and the ushers were chasing him around downstairs while I was preaching upstairs. I've caught and removed three bats, dealt with leaky roofs (we had about 30 buckets in the sanctuary catching the rain), and had other crazy and sometimes difficult events.


        The past few weeks have been unlike anything I have ever experienced. The phrase "unprecedented times" now seems like a cliché. Yet, it isn't. It's where we find ourselves.


        On Monday, the Bishop of Indiana, Bishop Trimble, requested all Indiana United Methodist Churches to suspend worship services for four weeks in order to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus.


        In my wildest dreams, I never thought there would be a month without Sunday worship. I've heard that in 1918, during the Spanish Flu, churches suspended their worship services. That was a bit more than a hundred years ago. This is new territory for us.


        Nevertheless, the church isn't a building, but a people. We are still St. Paul United Methodist Church. We are still the church! 

        While we won't be able to gather in our building, it doesn't mean that we won't be gathering. Instead, we will utilize the power of technology to connect, learn, and worship. For those who don’t have the technology, we are trying to find other ways to connect.


        Our Plan


        Sunday Morning Worship: We will be live on Facebook Live and hopefully Youtube. and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxs05Cg-xpy_2nzqLXetDvQ


        During the week: We will be streaming at various times on Facebook and Youtube. Our Associate Pastor, Aaron Taylor, will be leading a Bible Study on Thursday evenings at 7pm. We will have our Lenten Focus groups on Facebook and Youtube as well (Wednesdays at 6:30 pm). Most facebook streaming will be at http://facebook.com/groups/StPaulLive. We will update the website when we know the service time (We will be streaming once on Sunday). I also hope to get streaming on our website as well.


        Giving: If you want to continue supporting St. Paul financially, and I hope you do, you can give by going to our website at http://stpaulbloomington.org and clicking on the “Online giving - Vanco” link. Or, you can send checks through the mail to the church office.


        For Those Without Internet: We still plan on connecting with those who do not have email or internet access. If you are interested in caring by calling, or caring by card writing, please let me know! We are creating a list of individuals who may need someone to deliver their groceries.


        High-Risk Category: If you are in a high-risk category and need someone to get groceries or help in some other way so you don’t have to go into public and risk exposure, please call the church office at 812-332-4191 or email me at david@stpaulbloomington.org.


        Church Office: We are restricting access to the church office to do our part in stopping the spread of the virus. Please call first if you need building access for some reason. The office phone number is 812-332-4191.


        I pray that within all the changes and disruptions we would see opportunities to love, share, and connect. May we continue to be who we are; the Church of Jesus sharing his amazing love!


        It is a joy to be your pastor. We will get through this. We will gather again. We still worship.


        Peace,


        David.

        1. published a newsletter

          ReadSPECIAL EDITION
          St. Paul and Coronavirus Response
          COVID-19 Virus

          During this unprecedented season of our lifetimes, I, under the guidance and direction of the Governance Council request the members and friends of St. Paul UMC to:

          1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds and if soap and water aren't available, use hand sanitizer.
          2. When we gather, don't shake hands. Greet with an Elbump (bumping elbows), wave, peace sign (yeah sixties!), or bow.
          3. Practice social distancing (six feet radius) when possible.
          4. If you are sick, stay home.
          5. If someone in your home is sick, stay home.
          6. If you have health-related issues such as blood disorders (e.g. Sickle Cell or on blood thinners), chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, compromised immune system, current or recent pregnancy (last 2 weeks), endocrine disorders, metabolic disorders, heart diseases, lung diseases, • Neurological and neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions, please stay home. (List is from the CDC.gov website)
          7. If you are over 60, please use extreme caution, and consider staying home.

          NOTE: If any government agency or our Indiana UMC Conference recommends or requests services be canceled, we will follow their recommendation and/or requests. You can find worship service status on our website.

          We are hoping to stream our services at http://facebook.com/groups/StPaulLive. You will need to join that group and your membership may need to be approved.


          **We are also limiting building access to Sunday morning services only. No Sunday School.**