Pastor’s Page – March 2023

Dear Members and Friends of St. Paul’s,

Usually, we hold off until Easter to talk about signs of new life around us, but I just can’t wait! February and March are busy months at St. Paul’s! As we continue to come back from COVID, and as we begin to reorganize ministries that had been suspended or had fallen away, there’s a whole lot going on.

In February, the youth were especially busy with activities, including learning to lead worship and leading all three worship services during our Youth Worship Weekend. The Grace Notes Youth Ensemble also played at all three services that weekend. This was a HUGE commitment for our youth, and I am so proud of them for rising to the occasion! The youth also were preparing for the Pancake Supper and Fastnacht Follies by selling tickets, preparing and decorating the Parish Hall, serving and cleaning up dinner, and preparing their acts for Fastnacht Follies. The Hoagie Sale to benefit Faith Formation was a huge success, as was the Bake Sale which benefits the Youth. The Sunday School Youth also were excited to fill their “Souper Pyramid” of canned goods for the Souper Bowl of Caring. I am so thankful to have so many youth in the church that are active and excited to join together in ministry. It is a sign of

wonderful things to come as they continue to grow and participate in the life of the church!

In March, the big focus is on worship! Beginning with Ash Wednesday at the end of February, we have entered into the season of Lent, which concludes with Holy Week during the first week of April. In March, we’ll have our regular weekend worship services, but we’ll also be preparing for Holy Week and Easter. All the musical ensembles will be preparing special music, altar guild will be busy gearing up for these unique services, Rosanne and our office volunteers will be preparing bulletins and worship materials and mailing them to shut-ins. We’re also revitalizing and resuming our Wednesday afternoon Lenten Lunches. At noon on Wednesdays in March, the congregation is invited to join me and others in the Parish Hall for a soup luncheon and brief time of devotions and prayer. This is a great opportunity to gather for additional fellowship within the Body of Christ, and to re-center ourselves in the middle of the busy week. While Lenten topics tend to be more somber, it is still exciting to see the church come to life with the hustle and bustle of the season.

Meanwhile, I find myself at church usually for 3-4 evenings a week, because our ministries are alive and active! In addition to Saturday night worship, I regularly attend confirmation and youth group on Sundays. During the week, Monday evenings are devoted to Bible Study, and we have a faithful group of participants that gathers weekly to study First and Second Samuel. Tuesday evenings are often filled with music as I come to participate in music rehearsals, but also to join in fellowship with those that are gathered. On Wednesdays in February and March, I’m leading the Raising Our Spirits Together program for those that experience mild to moderate depression. This class has drawn many people out of their homes and into the church in the middle of the week, with 15 participants in the group learning about how to manage their depressive symptoms. Tuesday and Thursday are also common meeting nights, where any number of St. Paul’s ministries could be in the midst of planning, dreaming, discerning and organizing.

In all of this, I see again and again that St. Paul’s is alive and active! We are working together to share God’s message of love and grace with those around us, and this is a place where we gather together for mutual support, learning, and worship. As our mission statement declares, this is a place where we celebrate God’s love through service!

Thanks be to God!

Peace and blessings,

Rev. Jessica Hahn