Dear Members and Friends of St. Paul’s,
“It’s been a rebuilding year.” Certainly, we’ve heard these words said of our favorite sports teams in the past, but I think the same has been true here at St. Paul’s in 2022. In the past several years, St. Paul’s has faced a great deal of transition between the resignation of a long-time pastor, a long interim, legal concerns, and a pandemic. I was pleased to join you on January 1, 2022 as your pastor, yet this still marked another transition for St. Paul’s, another marker of change.
Therefore, in 2022, we spent much of our time reconnecting, rebuilding, and stabilizing ourselves as a congregation. As we’ve begun to emerge from the pandemic and an extended transition period, we’ve found it necessary to return to the basics—focus on worship, education, outreach, and pastoral care. We’ve needed to get to know one another again and find out who we are after such significant change.
As we’ve returned to the basics, we have been strengthened by our foundation in Christ Jesus our Lord. The Holy Spirit compels us to work together, not because we’re all part of some social club or because we have the same interests, but because we have been called together to further Christ’s mission in the world. We are grounded in Christ our foundation, we are centered on shared values, and we are guided by God’s Word.
While some of this work may seem insignificant or tedious, this work has been done so that we can rebuild from Christ our foundation, and be grounded in God’s Word as we reach out to the world.
As we continue to rebuild and grow into our new life together, I pray that 2023 will see increased outreach into our community, and increased energy in serving the needs of those around us. I pray that we will invest ourselves deeper into studying God’s Word, participating in God’s sacraments, and building a more meaningful and supportive relationship with the body of Christ at St. Paul’s.
Coming up in the next few weeks, the confirmation class will be leading our worship for a Youth Worship Weekend, they will also be selling hoagies for the annual Superbowl hoagie sale. The church is preparing for another fun night with the Pancake Supper and Fastnacht Follies, we’re distributing cookies to our homebound members, baking communion bread, and much more! It’s a busy time here at St. Paul’s, and it’s a great time to be the Church!
One other upcoming event is our annual meeting at the end of February. This is a great chance to reflect on all our ministry in the past year, and to look ahead to how God is leading us into the future. I look forward to reading the reports of our committees and groups, and then gathering with all of you to celebrate a great year of ministry.
Finally, as my one-year anniversary serving at St. Paul’s has come and gone, I also look forward to another year of worshiping and serving with you, and with all the people who journey with us in our mission.
Rev. Jessica Hahn