Get Ready for Small Groups!

If you missed being part of a small group in the Fall, please consider joining Small Groups this season! Think of how much Jesus’ friends learned in His small group setting. Groups are fun, easy-going, non-intimidating, and often work very well to find a time of worship among peers. Plus, our Small Groups are supported with Sunday Sermon Series.

You will be hearing from Group Leaders soon! If you want to join a group, please contact theresa@stpaulunitedmethodist.com.

First Steps – January 30, 2023

Christians have a long history of seeing everything through the lens of Jesus Christ.  Many of the Christian holidays have their origin in something that wasn’t initially Christian but was used by them to teach or evangelize.  Theologically speaking, since Christ is the means of transformation, followers of Christ repurposed just about anything to help people walk the road of faith.  

I do something similar with songs and movies.  I try to see them through the lens of Jesus Christ.  I know the origin of the songs and movies has nothing to do with faith, Jesus, or Christianity; however, that doesn’t stop me from using them as a means of reflection or prayer.  Like the early church, I want to repurpose it for and with Christ.

For instance, I’ve always been a fan of George Harrison.  I like his music.  One of my favorites is Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) and I’ve used his lyrics as a form of prayer.  Perhaps it was a prayer for him.  I also realize there is a line in the lyrics that nods to reincarnation which is not a Christian concept.  But all that aside, I like the song and have borrowed it to be words of prayer.
 
If you are unfamiliar with the lyrics, then here you go:
Give me love, Give me love, Give me peace on earth, Give me light, Give me life; Keep me free from birth, Give me hope, Help me cope with this heavy load, Trying to touch and reach you with Heart and soul, Om My Lord, Please take hold of my hand that I might understand you.  Won’t you please, Oh, won’t you?  Give me love, Give me love, Give me peace on earth, Give me light, Give me life, Keep me free from birth, Give me hope, Help me cope with this heavy load, Trying to touch and reach you with Heart and soul, Om My Lord Won’t you please Oh, won’t you? Give me love, Give me love, Give me peace on earth, Give me light, Give me life, Keep me free from birth, Give me hope, Help me cope with this heavy load, Trying to touch and reach you with Heart and soul. Give me love, Give me love, Give me peace on earth, Give me light, Give me life, Keep me, keep me free from birth, Now give me hope.  Help me cope with this heavy load. Trying to touch and reach you with Heart and soul.
 
As you begin this week, pray for love, peace, light, and life.  Pray for God to help you carry burdens and envision that Christ walks with you.  Pray for God’s touch in your life, your heart, and your soul.  



 This Week’s Readings:
*Monday – Acts 8, Acts 9
*Tuesday – Acts 10, Acts 11
*Wednesday – Acts12
*Thursday – Acts 13, Acts 14
*Friday – Acts 15, Acts 16

Prayer Requests:
*Continued blessings in the New Year 2023.
*Heal those who are sick and protect those who are not.
*Comfort those who are grieving and in distress.
*Wisdom for our leaders as they navigate through uncertain times.
*Guidance for those seeking to find their way.
*Continued Growth Inside and Outside the Walls of St. Paul UMC.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.” – Philippians 4:6


Confirmation Class – Get Ready for Our Epworth Retreat!

The next event for Confirmands is Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island, Georgia. The dates are Friday- Sunday, February 3-5, 2023. We will leave St. Paul at 12:30 p.m. on Friday and return on Sunday by 6:30 p.m.

COST: $215 pays for lodging and meals (except Sunday’s Lunch). Extra money may be needed for the Gift
Shop and vending machines (dollar bills)

We will learn “Wesley’s Rules For Living,” tour a museum, visit the beach, experience history at Fort Frederica, and have bonfires! A lot of activities, a lot of fun, and (of course) a lot of spiritual growth will be happening for our Confirmands during this first weekend of February!

First Steps – January 23, 2023

We may not have the capacity to become what Saul of Tarsus became, but we may be in the channel of God’s will just as truly as was Paul, and our lives may have the smile of God upon them, though in some hidden way that the world may never know” (Elizabeth Morrison).
 
Throughout my ministry, I often hear people describing their lives as not important to God’s Kingdom. Because they don’t teach, preach, sing, or evangelize, then their work is not effective to the Church or to God. How untrue!  Granted, those whose gifts edify the ministries of the Church seem to be highlighted because those gifts are witnessed by all. They are easy to see. However, what someone doesn’t see is the one on their knees praying for all.  What someone doesn’t see is the gentle witness of encouragement and love that cultivate a life. 
 
These gentle servants of God are the real salt of the earth. They are the ones who believe they can change the world by living out Micah 6:8. They are the ones who do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. They are the ones who treat people equally and with fairness. They are the ones who are forgiving because they give what they received. They are the ones who are modest and meek. If you ask me, they will be the ones who change the world because every step they take is a step of incarnational witness as a follower of Christ. They are the real effective servants because they live according to the most excellent way—the Love of God.
 



 This Week’s Readings:
*Monday – Acts 2
*Tuesday – Acts 3
*Wednesday – Acts 4
*Thursday – Acts 5
*Friday – Acts 6, Acts 7

Prayer Requests:
*Continued blessings in the New Year 2023.
*Heal those who are sick and protect those who are not.
*Comfort those who are grieving and in distress.
*Wisdom for our leaders as they navigate through uncertain times.
*Guidance for those seeking to find their way.
*Continued Growth Inside and Outside the Walls of St. Paul UMC.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.” – Philippians 4:6


January 8, 2023 – “Welcoming in Jesus’ Name” – Rev. Dr. Shane Green & Rev. Lynn Meadows-White

Worship (SPUMCColumbus)
Worship (SPUMCColumbus)
January 8, 2023 - "Welcoming in Jesus' Name" - Rev. Dr. Shane Green & Rev. Lynn Meadows-White
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Contemporary Worship Service/Mark 9:35-37

First Steps – January 16, 2023

Last week I mentioned Aunt Bettie Morrison (Elizabeth) and her words on success and values.  She also wrote: “It would be a great thing if each of us could realize that even our little life is planned of God, and if we would fit into that plan how much better it would be for us and all concerned.  Our catechism says that we are created to ‘glorify God,’ and if we miss the purpose for which we were created, we have deliberately thwarted God’s plan and purpose for our lives, and we shall inevitably fail of that which is highest and best in this life, and that which is to come.”
 
I would add that when we see our life as part of God’s plan of salvation, we live in peace.  How often do we live beneath our calling?  A call to follow Jesus is more than an occupation, it is a lifestyle of glorifying God in all things.  From something grand and glorious to the humblest of daily activities, all are considered important to God and part of living in God’s Spirit.  It is not something to be achieved or earned, it is something to be experienced with every single breath.
 
I’m sure you have enjoyed floating on an inflatable at some point in your life.  Either in a pool, a lake, or in the ocean, floating on an inflatable can be relaxing.  While one floats, one simply is—nothing is needed but to rest on the float.  In a similar way, when we realize our life is part of God’s larger narrative of salvation, we float.  We resist the temptation to be more or less than what we truly are—a child of God. 
 
You are part of God’s plan, His work of redemption for all things.  Begin today seeing yourself as part of that narrative.  Everything you do, even the simplest of things, is part of the story.  






 This Week’s Readings:
*Monday – Luke 21
*Tuesday – Luke 22
*Wednesday – Luke 23
*Thursday – Luke 24
*Friday – Acts 1

Prayer Requests:
*Continued blessings in the New Year 2023.
*Heal those who are sick and protect those who are not.
*Comfort those who are grieving and in distress.
*Wisdom for our leaders as they navigate through uncertain times.
*Guidance for those seeking to find their way.
*Continued Growth Inside and Outside the Walls of St. Paul UMC.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.” – Philippians 4:6