October 2014: A Word from Pastor Anne

A Word from Pastor Anne
Making and Being Made into Followers of Jesus

Many of us are giddy with excitement at the growing Ministry Center! Some have waited for so long that it is hard to believe it is happening so quickly. After the exterior walls were put up, many have gone out to write their names and blessings for the coming ministry on the walls. Walking out into the new space is exhilarating! This is a busy fall with the 50th Anniversary, Crop Walk, Dinner Dance, Stewardship campaign and Golf Tournament. Our 50th Anniversary theme is Blessed for 50 years, To Be a Blessing for the Next 50!

This theme describes what is happening here at SAINT PAUL. We are giving witness to the signs of growth among us. We heard in September from Jordan Ilagan about his trip with the Philippines Solidarity Task Force. There will be opportunities to hear more and consider joining next year’s trip. Our new member, Paul Maumalanga, told of his own journey that has brought him to our church. He is part of the Men of Faith small group and serving on the Finance Committee. You can read that in the newsletter. Kristine Welcher shared about her own adventures with Extreme Couponing and how God has allowed her family to live more freely and generously with what they have. Some are talking to her about learning about couponing. That was in last month’s newsletter.

We are continuing in our theme of Evangelism with our series on Movies and Faith Conversations. We want to grow in comfort and ease in talking about our own faith with others. With movie theaters, Netflix, Redbox and YouTube, there are so many ways to see movies. These can lead to conversations about choices in challenging situations, where we find our help and giving witness to the God we trust.

Even as we find ways to reach out and invite others, we must also strengthen existing ministries to receive more new followers. Our Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) and Core team approved a Safe Sanctuary policy this year. This policy sets guidelines to protect children, youth and vulnerable adults. The goal is to provide “a safe and secure environment for all children, youth, volunteers, and paid staff who participate in ministries and activities sponsored by the church. The following policies and procedures reflect our congregation’s commitment to preserving this church as a holy place of safety and protection for all who would enter, and as a place in which all people can experience the love of God through relationships with others.

All volunteers with children, youth and vulnerable adults must attend an annual training, agree to abide by our policy for the safety of all and complete the volunteer application. This includes a background check for those 18 and older. Inappropriate behavior can destroy individuals and communities, so we are being proactive to provide a safe setting. So many are stepping out to lead and build our unity in Christ! Outreach Ministry leads us out to raise money and awareness for hunger through the annual CROP Walk. Linda Canuto and team are planning another Dinner Dance as we give thanks and raise money for our new Ministry Center. Our United Methodist Men (UMM) sponsor the annual Golf Tournament in Alameda to support ministries. The Finance Committee is leading the way with our Stewardship campaign.

As I said at our 50th anniversary celebration, Pastor Sun Hee and I are privileged to serve here at SAINT PAUL! Like the Apostle Paul, we cannot help but give thanks to God for you. We know that we follow on the firm foundation built by previous pastors. We join with the many active faithful followers here. And we desire to be used by God and be part of what God is doing among us and what is still to come.

We are blessed with the prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness of so many here at SAINT PAUL! Let’s continue to grow in investing our resources for the life giving Kingdom of God for another 50!

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