“TALKING BACK” NEXT SUNDAY — Please join our Adult/College Sunday School class next Sunday, October 30, to unpack the sermon from October 9 with preacher Kirsten Nord and others. We will meet in the lower level from 10:00-10:45 a.m. You may access Kirsten’s sermon by going to http://stpaulsfmc.com/2016/10/ and then clicking on her sermon title.
SS OPTIONS FOR TEENS/PRETEENS — Our sexton, Katie Westbrook, will be meeting with teens in the mural room during the Sunday School hour, 10:00-10:50, while Pastor Rick continues to welcome preteens and teens in the Sunday School room just down the hall.
GODLY PLAY AT 9:45 SUNDAY MORNINGS — Preschool and elementary age (3+) children are invited to join in Godly Play Sundays at 9:45 a.m. in the lower level. Godly Play creatively and imaginatively engages our children with the church’s stories and rites, preparing them for the worship and life of the church.
CHANGE IN MORNING PRAYER SCHEDULE — Join us in the Sanctuary Monday-Friday 7:30-8:00 a.m. for prayer, Scripture and Communion.
BOXES OF MACARONI & CHEESE WANTED! — Please help St. Paul’s contribute 350 boxes of macaroni and cheese (7.25 oz. size, please) for the Holiday Food Baskets, which the Bond County Ministerial Alliance provides to families in need at Christmas. These are being collected in the mural room.
SUPPORTING THE BRITTINGHAMS — John and Morgan began the process of adopting internationally this last June. In order to learn more about their journey, and/or to support them financially, see gofundme.com/jorganadoption.
HAITI—HURRICANE MATTHEW UPDATE — Reports from Free Methodist Bishop Desvariste in Haiti indicate the southern Haitian Conference has lost three church roofs and four school building roofs. At least three smaller church buildings around St. Marc have been destroyed, as well as some houses at Gonaives. Those who have lost housing have gathered in shelters, hoping the church will help. Any assistance channeled through the Bishops’ Crisis Response Fund will get there quickly. Please continue to pray for these days of recovery, along with Russ and Sherrie Cole and Jerry and Carrie Elmore who are assisting with many needs. When a natural disaster crisis happens, the limited resources in a third-world country are especially strained. Food and clean water are major concerns. Praise the Lord for those who are contributing to the Haiti Food Fund and for water filters to be sent to Haiti. Pray for the International Child Care Ministries’ school children and teachers who have had schools damaged or destroyed. –Free Methodist World Missions Hotline 10.11.16
THEOLOGY OF PREACHING AT ST. PAUL’S — St. Paul’s submits to the authority of Christian Scripture. We preach from the lectionary, which means we attend to the full witness of the Bible. In our preaching, we practice a “rotating pulpit” approach because we believe diverse Christian perspectives and voices are gifts from God. In hearing God’s word preached by pastors and lay people, students and professors, old and young, women and men, we become the people of God. We celebrate the ways in which the Holy Spirit challenges, comforts, surprises, confronts, and embraces us through the sermon. Our faithful response to what God is saying to us requires honesty, humility, and courage. Even in our human and feeble efforts to speak on God’s behalf, God proves faithful in addressing us, helping us become the reconciled and restored people of God in our time and place.
FEEDING THE HUNGRY IN BOND COUNTY — Our local food pantry welcomes donations all year long, especially soup, cereal, canned vegetables and canned meat. You may place donations of food (also toiletries) in the food pantry box in the mural room.
TOWARD A THEOLOGY OF HEALING AT ST. PAUL’S — Healing is a feature of full salvation. It is enfolded in the atoning work of Jesus per Isaiah 53:4, “By his stripes we are healed.” Ultimately salvation even means creation healed (Rom. 8:18-22). Jesus’ proclamation of God’s Kingdom included healing—he pointed to healing as a sign of his messianic mission, and sent out his disciples both to heal and to proclaim (Luke 4:18, 7:18-23, 10:1-9). Healing ministry continued in the early church, closely associated with salvation (Acts 3:1-4:22). Whenever and however people are healthy, whole, and healed it is God’s work and part of God’s salvation. But not everyone is healed from every affliction. — Healing, like salvation, results from God and God’s church working together. Healing is the work of the church! St. Paul’s FM Church engages significantly in praying for healing both during Prayers of the People on Sundays and at Morning Prayer 6 days a week. When Peter and John healed a lame man others were involved: folk brought him to the temple to beg; Peter and John enlisted the lame man himself in the process by looking intently at him and saying, “Look at us!” The lame man obediently “fixed his attention” on them, expecting a gift. Peter, supported by John, commanded the man, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth stand up and walk!” He also assisted the man in standing; as he did the man’s body was strengthened, enabling him to jump and dance. Others, amazed, joined in the rejoicing. It all resulted in a proclamation of the good news of the kingdom of God (Acts 3:2-26). — Healing takes place under God’s sovereignty. “God heals sometimes, God saves always” (Sam Wells). Healing is the work of the church! Just as God instructs and inspires through the ministry of the Word, and nourishes and is present among God’s people in the Sacraments, so healing takes place under God’s sovereignty in the church’s life and worship. The church supports the healing ministry of family, friends, and medical professionals in prayer and by visiting the sick. The church provides regular services of healing following the pattern of God’s Word in the book of James, “Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed” (5:14-16). We do this under God’s sovereign care. Will every prayer be answered in the way we request? Will everyone be healed every time right away? Probably not. Some will be healed by medicine, some by rest, recuperation, and care. Others will be healed by better habits and new information. And some will be healed by the working together of the sovereign action of God through the laying on of hands and the engagement of the faith of the church. Some will not be healed in this life. All can be saved. — “God heals sometimes, God saves always.”