March 28Service at 7pm
March 29, Service at 7pm
@ First Presbyterian Church210 W Green St, WintersetPastor Jim Howland, PresidingPastor Joel Nau, Preaching
Saturday, March 30, 7pm
March 31Services at 6:30am & 9:30am
Easter Egg Hunt
8:30am for kids pre-K to grade 6
A light breakfast of fruit, muffins,pastries, & mini quiches will beserved between services onEaster Sunday
Does St. Paul Lutheran look like ablessed church to you?
It does to me, and
here’s how. According to N. Graham Stan-dish’s book, Becoming a Blessed Church, a
blessed church has the following marks:
The blessed church sees itself as thebody of Christ.
At a conference I went to,
the speaker asked us what happened to Christ’s
body after his ascension. He let us wrestle withthat for a while before he gave the answer:
itbecame the church!
The mystery that isChrist now deigns to live in the church as the
way Christ’s mission is fulfilled in the world. I
see members of St. Paul Lutheran seriously
(and winsomely!) seeing themselves as Christ’s
body in the world when they gather for wor-
ship, teach God’s word to young ones, make
casseroles for hungry people, or collect dollars for the Souper Bowl of Caring. Who does these
things but Christ’s body?
The blessed church has a vibrant senseof faith, hope, and love.
Again, I see thisevery day and I am buoyed by it. We are not adespairing people. When we see a need, weaddress it. We have an expectation that God will act, and God does. We speak to one an-other with respect and genuine concern for the
person as an image of God. If that’s not blessed I don’t know what is.
The blessed church is a church filled
with God’s presence, purpose, and
There are times when I am worship-ing, especially when I hear a full church sing-ing praises, and I tangibly sense
God’s presence. I also sensed
that during our Lenten serviceswhen we heard personal stories from members about when they were taken, blessed, broken, given, and spoken. God is alive and well at St.Paul Lutheran, in a powerful way.
The blessed church is not afraid toserve God in its own way.
We are not incompetition with other churches because wehave a unique mission (printed for your con-venience on the front page of this newsletter),and we have a strategy for our vision. Nextmonth our Congregational Council, by invita-tion of Bishop Burk, will enjoy a day-longretreat with 10 other congregations to reflect
on God’s intention for our congregation and
how we will live out our vision. I am thrilled that we have been given this opportunity, and I ask your prayerful support as we seek to livethe life together God is calling us into.
None of this means that we’re perfect, or thatwe don’t have our work cut out for us, but that
we are blessed by our good and gracious God.
And blessed people can’t help but be a blessing
So thank you, St. Paul Lutheran. Youare a blessing to me!
In Christ,Pr. Joel
The Trumpet is a seasonal publication of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Winterset, Iowa
Responding to God’s Grace in Christ, we
faithfullythrough worship, spiritual growth, and action.
A Blessed Church