Our Annual Meeting is this Sunday, January 26th immediately following the service. If you wish to see the Annual Report, you can access find it here. If you wish to see the St. Paul Constitution, By-Laws and Continuing Resolutions which we plan to ratify on Sunday, you may see it here.
Every year in January, our congregation prepares an Annual Report for our Annual Meeting. This year we are publishing a little differently. Instead of producing 80 hard copies of the Annual Report, we have decided to be more conscious of our paper use. Last year, we had so many paper copies left over, we decided it would be an irresponsible use of paper to make so many this year. Instead of paper copies, we will be sending electronic copies by email. If congregants do not have email or computers and need a paper copy, we will make a limited number of them. Please let us know by email or telephone that you need a reserved copy.
This is also the case with our Constitution. As you know, we are ratifying the updated Constitution for which we voted last year. If you need a hard copy of the updated Constitution and By-Laws, please let us know, and we will copy one for you. Otherwise, we can send you an electronic version.
This year’s Report presents an overview of our congregational life. You will be delighted when you read it to see all that has happened this year. As always, I’m left with awe and gratitude for all of you. It is a blessing and privilege to serve as your pastor.
SATURDAY, January 18th, 3:00 p.m. St. Paul Lutheran Church sponsored by St. Paul Peace and Justice Team.
Join us for a wonderful presentation on the science of climate change on Cape Ann, and theological frameworks for considering our relationship to creation and the climate crisis. Abby Johnson is a seminarian attending United Lutheran Seminary, a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, and an environmental theologian. Kyle Johnson is a Climate scientist actively working on climate resiliency. We are looking forward to their time with us.
Our schedule of Christmas Services.
Wednesday, December 18th at 7:30 p.m. Join us for WinterSong; an Advent Celtic Meditation. Folksinger Michael O’Leary and harpist Carole McIntyre will be at St. Paul for another beautiful evening of Celtic music, poetry, song and prayer to honor the turning of the year and this season of waiting and renewal. Donations welcomed and appreciated.
On Sunday, December 22nd at our 10:00 a.m. service, we will have our Instant Christmas Pageant presented by the Sunday School and the Congregation. This is a lot of fun. Please join us.
Our Christmas Eve Service will be held on Tuesday, December 24th at 7:00 p.m.
The Christmas Morning service will be held at 8:00 a.m.
Everyone is always welcomed here at St. Paul Lutheran Church. Please join us. If you cannot be here with us, Merry Christmas and the Peace of the Lord be with you.
Join us for St. Paul’s fabulous Christmas Fair this Saturday, starting at 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Wonderful treasures, baked goods, Nisu and fish chowder, good cheer, good folks, AND Santa Claus! Lots of fun! See you there.
On November 10th, Bishop Hazelwood joined us for worship, luncheon, and a book signing. He was delightful as always. He introduced the congregation to his new book Everyday Spirituality, beginning his sermon with a story of his own struggle to find spiritual practices meaningful to him. Traditional spiritual practices did not come naturally to him. He is a seeker, he says, for spirituality that has meaning for him everyday, that isn’t set apart from his daily existence or daily tasks. In the introduction, he writes:
“This is a book about everyday life. In living an everyday ordinary, seemingly routine life, we are living out a spirituality. Not the kind of spirituality that’s set apart. Not the kind where you go off to a retreat center for silence and good food and walks in nature. I’ve got nothing against that, and in fact, I enjoy those retreats myself. But I need a spirituality that is real for me on Mondays at 6 a.m. when the alarm goes off, and Thursday during dinner with my kids, and Fridays between the grocery store and the gym. This is a book that connects the stuff we do every day, every week or every so often with God.”
He has developed a card game to go with the book to use in small groups or at home or with friends or the congregation, as we did during the sermon on Sunday. Each card has a question on it inviting a conversation about our own experiences, or something important to us. For example, what are three things you’d like to be remembered for after you die, or one I liked very much: “Once, this really weird thing happened to me…Tell us about it.”
After the service, during the lunch, I heard snippets of conversation as I walked around tables or greeted people with their coffee. I could tell the Bishop had connected with the congregation, because people were talking about their own spirituality. One person talk about being in the woods in northern Minnesota, “that’s my spirituality, he said.” Another person told me about his experiences sailing as a crew member of a historic Gloucester ship, the camaraderie. Someone else talked about her photography. It was exciting for me to see the conversation from the worship service continue when we went downstairs for lunch. The thing you want most, as a pastor, or at least what I what most as a pastor is that faith be alive, a “living, busy, active, mighty thing” Luther called it. It’s always wonderful to see that in people’s lives, and I saw it on Sunday. After he finished his corn chowder and salad, Bishop Hazelwood stayed at his table with us in the middle of the room; people came to get their books signed, then sat down and began to talk with him about their experiences. He’s an inviting, personable man, and we connected with him, and with his book. Most of all, we connected with what is holy in our lives, with God in our everyday lives. All in all, a wonderful morning.
Please join us at St. Paul Lutheran Church on Monday, November 11th at 2:00 PM for this musical tribute. Admission is free but donations will be welcomed and appreciated. They will go to the organization called Company2Heroes, a unique service dog training program specializing in guided/assisted self-training of service dogs working with combat veterans from all wars who are suffering and have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress, Military Sexual Trauma and/or Traumatic Brain Injury.
Cape Ann Finns and St. Paul Lutheran Church are excited to announce a piano performance by Ruusamari Teppo, the great-great-granddaughter of the world-famous composer, Jean Sibelius. Ms. Teppo, who is pursuing doctoral studies in the USA, plays internationally. Recently, she played at the 2019 FinFest. The concert will be held at St. Paul Lutheran Church on Sunday, October 13th, 2019 at 4:00 PM. Suggested donation is $20 per person for this wonderful opportunity.