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St.

Paul's Bridgeport,

Evangelical Lutheran Church Canada

Spring 2015

ROOTED IN TRADITION, CENTRED IN WORSHIP, CALLED TO SERVICE, FREE TO DREAM

PROCLAIMER
519-743-4464 StPaulsBridgeport@gmail.com

And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three;
and the greatest of these is love. 1Cor. 13:13

Paul’s words to the community at Corinth are
beautiful and familiar, but I wonder, if Paul was
writing to our church in Bridgeport today,
would he prioritize love as he did for the
Corinthians? Or would he, after hearing our
stories, observing our worship, and reviewing
our finances advise us, “And now faith, hope,
and love abide, these three; and the greatest of
these is… hope?”
I suspect we all feel it-a deep anxiety about
what the future holds for this congregation we
all love so very much. Here are the facts:
• Our regular worship attenders are aging
• Our membership is holding steady, but our
weekly attendance is in decline
• We rely on the same volunteers to do the same
work month after month

Hailey helps us learn to walk in the dark
Lenten worship series, March 2015

• The decrease in our monthly offerings from
2014-2015 is significant and concerning

communal action, between tradition and
innovation

• There is a new generation of Christians in our
congregation who long to belong to an
intergenerational community that values
inclusion, diversity, honest questioning and
conversation

I think there are two ways we can frame these
facts. The first is to view them as a sure sign of
the moral demise of society and the death of the
church. We can blame Sunday morning hockey
practice for the lack of young people. We can
work our volunteers to the point of frustration
and burn out. We can beg our regulars for more
money, knowing full-well that many are already
giving what they can. We can judge our children

• When it comes to both social justice and
spiritual practice, this generation seeks a
balance between individual responsibility and
544 Bridgeport Road East, Kitchener, ON N2K 1N7

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St. Paul's Bridgeport,

Evangelical Lutheran Church Canada

Spring 2015

ROOTED IN TRADITION, CENTRED IN WORSHIP, CALLED TO SERVICE, FREE TO DREAM
2 cups whole wheat flour
and grandchildren for their disinterest in the
institution.
1 cup white flour
1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
The second way we can view our situation is to
1 ¼ tsp. salt
frame it as an opportunity to plant seeds of new
Stir in 4 tsp. olive oil. Set aside.
life. Our regularly worshipping elders are not a
Mix together until dissolved:
sign of a dying church. They are dedicated,
¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. very hot water
faithful people, an incredible source of spiritual
3 Tbsp. honey
wisdom and support for a generation of parents
3 Tbsp. molasses
raising their children far from their own
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix
families. They have stories to tell and
well. Dough should be slightly sticky. Do not
experiences to share. If we are frustrated and
knead. Divide into 4 balls and flatten each into
concerned by a dearth of willing volunteers and
a ¼ inch thick disk.
money to operate our buildings and programs,
Score a cross onto each loaf. Lay the loaves on
then perhaps that’s the Spirit’s way of calling us
a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10
to consider abandoning our old expectations and
minutes. Remove from oven and brush the tops
judgements and ways of doing things in order to
of the loaves with olive oil. Bake an additional
explore and embrace a new way.
5-8 minutes. Let cool.
Don’t think for a minute though, that embracing
a “new way” means abandoning our identity and
all the things that are important to us. Our
congregation claims to be “rooted in tradition,
centred in worship, called to serve, and free to
dream”. It is possible to move into a vibrant
future while retaining the wisdom of the past,
balancing the freedom to dream with our rooting
and grounding in tradition.
This week as we proclaim yet again the most
beloved story of our faith, Christ’s resurrection,
may it so move us to live fully into the
possibilities we celebrate for the next fifty days.
How will we experience resurrection this year?
And now faith, hope, and love abide, these
three; and the greatest of these is… HOPE!

Pastor Jennifer
-----------------------------------------Luther Seminary’s (and St. Paul’s, Bridgeport’s)
Communion Bread Recipe
Combine the following:
544 Bridgeport Road East, Kitchener, ON N2K 1N7

Yield: four 8 oz. loaves. Each loaf serves 60-70
people. I usually divide the dough into 8 balls,
each serves 30 people. Do not over-bake!
======================================
Pastor Jennifer’s “Death by Chocolate” Chocolate Cake

1 package Devil’s Food Cake mix4 eggs
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix½ cup warm
water
1 cup sour cream2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix
together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil,
beaten eggs, and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and
pour batter into a well-greased 12 cup bundt pan. Bake
for 50-55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch
and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool
cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half
before inverting onto a plate. If desired, dust the cake
with powdered sugar.
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