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Weekly Notes February 4, 2021

Dear Friends;
This has been a long week! Over 40 hours in front of a screen in ZOOM sessions with the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Florida Conference.  I am beginning a 12 year appointment to this board.  Our mission is to interview and guide candidates for ministry through the process of ordination.  This is a multi-year process and I want to share with you just some basics of how it works.  

Each candidate for ministry is examined in four different areas:  theology, proclamation, leadership and personal growth.  Along their journey the board may give growth assignments in any area to assist the candidate in strengthening their skills for ministry.  These are not hoops to jump through, but are thoughtful and unique assignments for the candidate based on their written and oral examinations.  For each candidate for ordination, we read approximately 300 pages of materials and evaluate a sermon video prior to the meeting with the Board of Ordained Ministry.  Along the way, candidates meet with us annually to check in and report on their progress.

We take great care in this process in order to produce pastors who will stay the course in a healthy way - who will do no harm to congregation or self - and who will find their own unique voice in ministry, wherever that may be.  It is holy and sacred work.

Pastor Becky went before the board this week, and since I am not allowed (because of our relationship as Senior/Associate Pastor) to be present or vote on her progress, I asked Becky to share her results below.  We are blessed to have her as part of our pastoral team!

Blessings,
Kandace

Thank you all so much for your prayers and words of support and encouragement as I went before the Board of Ordained Ministries last Tuesday.  Although I passed my theology and preaching sections, I was not approved for ordination yet.  The process for becoming an Ordained Elder in Full Connection is long, and it is a journey - one that is meant to help each pastor grow as a leader and follower of Christ, and one that ensures those leading our United Methodist churches are called, prepared, and qualified.  I became a Certified Candidate back in 2009, when I started seminary.  It took me 6 years to complete seminary, while I worked as an Assistant Pastor at Skycrest UMC in Clearwater.  I completed my Provisional Elder paperwork and was approved as a Provisional Elder in 2015 and began serving my first appointment at Riviera UMC in Saint Petersburg, where I served as the Pastor for 4 years before transferring here in 2019.  Last September I submitted my paperwork for ordination for the first time, and then I met before the board for my interview last Tuesday.  The team that interviewed me determined there were some areas of growth I need to work on, which I will do and resubmit next September.  Of course, I am sad and disappointed, but I am in no way discouraged.  I hope that the work they have set before me will be fruitful and help me to be a better pastor, and I am confident God will use this experience to grow good things in me.  Please continue to pray for me as I continue the journey to follow the call I believe God has placed on me.  

Grace and peace, 
Rev. Becky Rokitowski


 

TWO WAYS TO WORSHIP WITH US THIS WEEK.
Join us as we gather for worship in our sanctuary at 8:30 a.m. (see notes above). Nursery provided with reservation. (see below)

Online worship at at 10:00am on either Facebook, our church website, or YouTube as we learn how we might put feet to our faith.

GROW materials for this week can be found here.
 
We are putting together Lent Bags for all of our congregation to share together in devotional practices during this holy season.  Bags will be custom made for your family make-up and Pastor Kandace will be available for you to pick up on Sunday, February 14, 2021 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. (along with a sweet Valentine's Day treat) at the church.  If that time does not work, bags will be available at the church office beginning Monday, February 15.  Limited delivery is available for those who are unable to pick up.  You can sign up below to reserve your bag!
Reserve Your Lent Bag
Join us for a 6-week Lenten Study on prayer led by Rev. Becky Rokitowski starting February 24/25.  This class will be highly interactive.  We will go through prayer basics and practice prayer together.  By the end of the course you should feel comfortable praying both individually and leading others in prayer.  You can participate either online, or in-person.  The online class will meet via Zoom on Wednesdays from 6:30-7:30 pm.  The in-person class will meet at the outdoor chapel on Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 pm.  Sign up for more details.
Sign up here for TEACH ME TO PRAY
Realizing the need in our community for a consistent, in-person postpartum support group for mothers in a centrally located part of Tallahassee, Saint Paul's answered the call. The Circle of Support program was established to support moms (not just first-time moms) during the first year after childbirth. Often new moms suffer in silence; however, offering a circle of support can help in alleviating isolation and provide the opportunity to connect in a safe and non-judgmental environment with other mothers. In addition, the group offers guidance, coping skills, stress management tools, peer to peer dialogue, understanding of PPD and communal encouragement while normalizing the transition into motherhood. The group is free of charge and offers onsite complimentary childcare. Lastly, the group is facilitated by a trained maternal mental health advocate and professional, mom and SPUMC member, Danielle B. Foster, MSW.  

Please help us spread the word not only within our church community but beyond the walls of our SPUMC family by sharing this important resource. There are moms in our area who need support. For more information contact
Danielle or visit the Circle of Support site here.  
 
Our nursery care for infants through Kindergarten will be open on Sunday mornings for the 8:30am Worship Service. We ask that those desiring nursery care please sign up so we will be sure to have our nursery staff available. Sign up on the button below. We request signups by 6:00pm on the Saturday before Sunday worship. Contact Bridget@saintpaulsumc.org with any questions. 
Sunday Worship Nursery Request
Worship Arts ~ Mini SPARKS!

Every Wednesday
4:30-5:30pm
Kindergartners to 5th Graders


We are having fun at Mini-SPARKS on Wednesdays! We finished up making valentines for our shut-ins and assisted living facilities folks, as well as rehearsing our music for performance next Wednesday! On Feb. 10, we will be recording for our Virtual Worship Service on Sunday, February 14 at 10:00am using hand chimes, triangles, drums and sign language!

Kindergarteners through 5th graders are welcome to join in on Wednesdays from 4:30-5:30. On February 17, Ash Wednesday, we will be starting our Lenten Lessons through Easter. Invite a friend and join us! For more information and to sign up click here!
Sign up for Mini SPARKS here

Youth Group

Our youth (age 6th grade-12th grade) have been meeting on Sunday evenings from 5pm-6pm at Generations Park.  All Middle School and High School students are invited to gather with us around the campfire for fun and sharing. 
(Masks required)
This Saturday the youth are hiking the JR Alford Greenway Loop from 10-12 in the morning! Wear good shoes and bring a water bottle. We ask everyone to wear a mask at least while we are gathered together and to stay 6 feet apart while on the trail. Get some exercise and hang out with friends! It may be a little cold and rainy, but unless it is pouring, we still plan on hiking. You may want to wear a rain jacket.  
Want to connect with others in the church who may need a word or encouragement or prayer? You can use the button below to access our current care and celebration list.  A thoughtful card or note would brighten a day and make a difference!  You may stop by the church office to pick up a printed list during office hours.
Address List for Care Cards
A reminder that we have online prayer gatherings on Sunday at 7:30 pm, and Tuesday morning at 8:00 am.  You may also stop by the sanctuary to pray on Thursdays from 10 am until 12 pm.  Pastor Becky is there to offer prayer as well. 

You can submit prayer requests by clicking the button below.  Prayer requests are always private unless permission has been given to share.  
Submit Prayer Requests Here
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