Pastor’s Page – May 2024

Dear Members and Friends of St. Paul’s,

These have been a busy few months at St. Paul’s! Looking at my calendar from March and April, we’ve had all kinds of celebrations in worship and in the life of the church. These months have included the festival worship services of Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter. We also celebrated the milestone of Rings of Freedom, Rings of Responsibility with our new drivers for the first time since 2019. In April, we installed our Council, and we welcomed six new members to our congregation! And this speaks only of the things we’ve done in worship.

We’ve also gathered for Lenten lunches, a new member’s luncheon, communion bread baking, Men’s Prayer Breakfast, bells and band rehearsal, choir practice, aerobics classes, Needle & Thread, Bible studies, spring clean-up, confirmation and youth group, training for our Council members, and all kinds of ministry meetings.

Additionally, we continue to open our doors so various community groups can gather in our building. AA and NA hold various weekly meetings all year round. A weight loss group gathers weekly as well. The local Embroidery Guild holds their board meetings and monthly gatherings in our Parish Hall. We also host Red Cross blood drives and several of our members participate as donors.

We regularly provide food for Extended Hand and Mt. Nebo, and we take up several other collections and donations for our community throughout the year. As time goes on, we’ll continue to learn the needs of the community and find additional ways to serve. If there is a way that you are interested in leading St. Paul’s to serve the community, please let me know.

All of these ministries and more have been a part of our calendar over the last two months. Even through hardships, St. Paul’s is a living and vibrant community of faith. As our mission statement says, we are committed to Celebrating God’s Love Through Service.

During the month of May, the celebration continues. In worship, we continue the Easter season through the celebration of Pentecost on May 18/19. Five youth will be confirmed at the 11:00 am service, and we will celebrate that the Holy Spirit has gifted them, and all of us, with skills and abilities to use in service to our community and world.

The youth are preparing for their trip to the ELCA Youth Gathering in July, and on May 4, they will host their annual yard sale fundraiser. May 25/26 they Book & Bake sale begins! They are so thankful for the donations received, and for your support.

On May 11, Ken Hibbert, Sharyn Lyden, and I will attend the NJ Synod Assembly, based on the theme, “How can I keep from singing?” We will have the opportunity to visit and worship with our siblings in Christ throughout the Synod, and experience how our partnership with other congregations makes an impact throughout our state and in the wider world. Synod Assembly Workshops will be held on Zoom on the evening of Thursday, May 9. The workshops are open to everyone, not just assembly participants. You can visit Page 5 of the Bulletin of Reports for the Synod Assembly to see the workshop offerings and find the link for the Zoom meeting: I would love to see additional participation from members of St. Paul’s.

Finally, on May 27, our nation will observe Memorial Day, and Hainesport will hold their annual Memorial Day Ceremony. JJ Soltesz has played Taps on the trumpet during the ceremony the last few years, and he will do so again this year. St. Paul’s has presented a wreath these last few years as well. This year, I will be leading the invocation and our Tutti Voce Choir will be singing. Not only does this help us become more visible in the community, but it is also an honor to receive the invitation.

St. Paul’s is a living, active community of faith, and I am thankful to be part of this community. Maybe you’ve been able to participate in some of our ministries already, or maybe you’re looking to engage in ministry in new ways. Either way, I look forward to seeing you at St. Paul’s in May!


Rev. Jessica Hahn