This time of year it is common to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. What would we do differently, what was good, what wasn’t good, and where do we go in the future.

I would love your feedback on what things worked and what we can do better. Reflecting on the past two years. Many people have stepped up and taken on responsibilities to help our community continue through a tumultuous time. I am incredibly grateful for your faithfulness and efforts.

Still, there are shortfalls in ministry at St. Paul. One of those shortfalls is “fellowship.” I am looking for some members who are interested in addressing this shortfall to better create community. I’m hoping we have some creative people who would like to share a craft or activity for people to come together and engage in over a month of Wednesdays a couple times a year.

I recognize this idea is only one idea and am very open to others. Are you a crafty person? Do you have a craft or game or community building activity you would like to share? Let me know, and together we’ll join with others to talk about how to make it happen.

In another area, from my personal experience and in talking with others, one of the things that is most gratifying is serving people, meeting their needs. Service administered  through  love establishes a roadmap for success as a faith   community. (See John Chapter 13)  The St. Paul community does several things in service, much of what we do is seasonal and in other locations.

Is there more we can do? What present needs do you see? I recently was at the homeless camp in Longview and engaged in a conversation with one of the leaders in the camp about needs. Some of what I heard was tents, tarps, blankets, firewood, pallets (to set up tents on and keep them from blowing away, one can’t put stakes in the ground there). I greatly appreciate those who have made hats, collected coats, donated firewood.

I don’t know that ministry at the homeless camp is a future ministry of St. Paul. That said, I currently feel compelled to help where I can. Ron and I have taken loads of firewood to the camp; it is in constant demand. If you have an excess of firewood, my truckbed holds about a third of a cord, then let me know and we will pick it up and deliver it. Pallets, tents, and tarps are also in need and a blessing. If you feel God is directing you toward homeless ministry, either at the camp or through Family Promise (feeding, clothing, collecting donations, etc.) please let me know.

Also, please join me in asking God to direct our areas of service. If there is a ministry that you are passionate about and believe God is leading you and possibly this faith community towards, allow me/us to come along side, discern and help make it a reality. In reflecting on the past year and thinking of the one ahead, is there something you would like to see in order that we might better serve you and our community? Please let me know. God bless you and know that you are a blessing!

Gratefully, Pastor Norm