Pastor’s Page – February 2024

Dear Siblings in Christ,

St. Paul’s is a resilient congregation. This is evident in our legacy over the last 156 years. The Holy Spirit has guided our ministry thus far, continues to move today, and will lead us into the future. We have celebrated in joyful times, and persevered through difficult times.

2023 has been no different. In the beginning of the year we were relieved to be moving out of the COVID pandemic, and returning to worship and ministry as normal. Throughout the year, we worked to reorganize ministries that had been suspended or fallen away during the pandemic.

This year has also included some special events and learning as well. In the spring, I led an 8-week course called Raising Our Spirits Together for people experiencing mild to moderate depressive symptoms. This turned out to be a great opportunity to connect, and even included some of our homebound members and others from the community.

Additionally, I had the opportunity to participate in the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving’s course to receive an Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising. This course provided a breadth of new information, ideas and strategies for communicating to the congregation and broader community about giving and philanthropy, and required us to put the information to work by completing a project within the congregation. Most importantly, the course reminded me of the importance of being bold about our mission and to identify and tell the story of our congregation.

Of course, with these things to celebrate, we also faced some struggles. 2023 has been an eventful and expensive year with our legal proceedings. We continue to pray that this may reach a resolution in early 2024. We saw changes in Council leadership in the fall with the resignation of our President, Don Potts, but we were glad that our Vice President, Bev Grazioli, stepped right up to provide leadership and continued energy and hope for the congregation.

The biggest change, however, was the resignation of our Director of Music, Denise Porter, and our Assistant Director of Music, Jackie Smith. After over 20 years of ministry with us, we were especially sorry to see them go. After a loving sendoff, we got to work scheduling supply musicians, discerning our musical needs, and searching for a new Director of Music. Beginning January 1, 2024, we are glad to welcome Edmund Robertson to our staff and congregation. We look forward to the insights and new experiences that he will bring.

Through all the joys and struggles of 2023, the Holy Spirit has been at work in this church. The Spirit gathers us again and again as a community around the Word and Sacraments in worship. Centered on the good news of God’s love for us, we look toward the future with confidence and hope. We trust that with the Holy Spirit as our guide, and working together as the Body of Christ, God’s love will be evident through our ministries.

As we look forward, I am excited for the opportunities ahead of us. I hope that we can continue to strengthen our community and become more active in our faith. We have so many wonderful ministries here at St. Paul’s, and so many great ways for you to get involved. Whether it’s helping lead worship, joining a Bible study, raking leaves, or something brand new, I pray that you find a way to get involved and put your faith in action with your family here at St. Paul’s. Together, as members of the Body of Christ, we are the Church, and with your support and participation, we become stronger together.


Rev. Jessica Hahn