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Weekly Notes May 15, 2020

Dear Friends;
I don’t know about you, but I have been truly enjoying the relative coolness of our weather this spring – and embracing it…because the humidity and heat are coming!  That said, the mornings and evenings have been a wonderful time to walk and pray for you and for our church.  I will continue this practice, even as the heat sets in!
 
Since the Fall of 2019 (why does that seem so long ago?), the Strategic Planning Team has been meeting to discuss the next season of our mission as a church.  They have worked hard; talking to many of you in focus groups and individual conversations, sharing together as a team, absorbing articles about church vitality and growth, and taking hard looks at numbers – lots of numbers!  At the end of this month they will present to the Governing Board the fruit of their labor, and ask that body to affirm the work they have done, and the vision for Saint Paul’s UMC for the next several years.  If the vision and plan is affirmed by the Governing Board, it will then go to the Core Ministry Team (made up of the leaders of all of our wonderful ministries) to discuss the impact and influence on their programs.  Once these two bodies have looked at the strategic plan and added their voices, we will communicate in a larger way to the congregation.  Will you be praying for this important part of the process?  I am so grateful for this team of hard and faithful workers, who prayed and listened and discerned where God might be leading this congregation. 
 
Even as we continue in our distancing for the sake of others, we are having conversations about what needs to be done as we think about gathering once again.  There has been no hard date set for this action, and we have, at the suggestion of our Bishop, put together a Task Force that will look carefully at safety measures and practices that we must develop in order to gather safely.  Please be confident that any and all decisions relative to gathering in any capacity will be made with the best information we have from medical experts who can best advise us.  I can imagine that we will continue to offer opportunities to gather in multiple ways so that all can feel comfortable in being able to connect.
 
And through all this, the work of the church continues.  On Pentecost Sunday (May 31) we will confirm five of our young people into the faith; our Children's Team has put together an exciting summer opportunity for our children and families; the Missions Team is praying about how we might reach out to our community in the next several years as we recover economically from the impact of COVID; our youth continue to connect online; our support of the Florida United Methodist Children's Home continues and you are finding ways to connect to one another in creative ways!
 
Congratulations to all our graduates - we are proud of you, and look forward to celebrating with you on Sunday.
 
Blessings,
Kandace

We continue our series on personal resilience this Sunday as we consider the second set of the nine pillars of resilience - MASTERY AND BALANCE.  Join us at 10:00 a.m. Sunday morning on our Facebook page or YouTube channel. 
Congratulations to our graduates!  This Sunday we will honor our graduates in our online service.
High School:
Margot Almond (Chiles HS); Zadi Almond (Chiles HS); Lauren Fleischer (Maclay HS); Freddie Shafer (SAIL HS)
Undergraduate:
Jonathan Batailles (Tallahassee CC); Jay Helton (Tallahassee CC); Sarah Helton (Stetson University); Raymond Pandley II (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University); Katie Rasmussen (University of North Florida); Natyle Gomez (Stetson University)
Graduate:
Danielle Foster (Florida State University); Taylor Novak (Florida State University)
 
Drive By Graduation Celebration
On Saturday May 16th at 5pm we will have a graduation drive by celebration! The graduates will meet in Saint Paul’s parking lot and members of the congregation can drive to offer well wishes and celebrate your achievements with you! We will maintain proper social distances at all times. 
Thank you for your continuing support of our seniors; we have made 9 deliveries of food and supplies to Elder Care Services, and the need continues.  This week the needs are as follows: non-perishable food items; flushable wiped, face masks for the CNA and clients, cleaning supplies, toilet paper and paper towels.  In addition, there is a need for paper grocery bags. 
You can bring your donations to the church office Monday – Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
Thursday Nights at 7:00pm, join Pastor Becky for an online discussion of "Liturgy of the Ordinary" by Tish Warren.

"Tish dismantles that most stubborn of Christian heresies: the idea that there is any part of our lives that is secular, untouched by and disconnected from the real sacred work of worship and prayer."

In this time where many of us are confined to our homes, without the grand sanctuaries of our churches, and void of many of the rituals of our faith, this teaching is even more pertinent.

"Taste - not just the wine and the bread, but the peanut butter and jelly, too - and see. The Lord is good."

Each week, we will read 3 chapters. Below is the schedule:

May 14: Chapters 1-3
     - Waking
     - Making the Bed
     - Brushing Teeth
May 21: Chapters 4-6
     - Losing Keys
     - Eating Leftovers
     - Fighting with my Husband
May 28: Chapters 7-9
     - Checking Email
     - Sitting in Traffic
     - Calling a Friend
June 4: Chapters 10-11
     - Drinking Tea
     - Sleeping

email Becky@saintpaulsumc.org for more information, or join our Facebook Group
This week’s menu:  Spaghetti and Meatballs.  Use this link to make your reservations and payment by noon on Tuesday, May 19.  Dinners are ready to be picked up Wednesday, May 20 from 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Our Summer Kids program is being planned for July and August!  Not our usual year of VBS, but definitely something we think your kids will enjoy!  Stay Tuned for registration and more details!  There will opportunities for the congregation to get involved as well - in a safe, but important way - to help our children grow in faith and knowledge of the Bible.
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