S.P.A.R.K.  (St. Paul Church’s Announcements to Read and Know)      January 2023

Dear friends in Christ,

Despite the high amount of people experiencing Covid and flu, coupled with the extreme weather, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Sunday services at St. Paul were blessed with many people in attendance. The 3:00 PM Christmas Eve service had 150 people, mostly visitors whom I’ve never met before. In fact, at both the 3 and 7:00 PM services, there were more visitors in attendance than members. What can this tell us? It may be the case there were lots of people in the area visiting family and wanted to attend a Christmas Eve service. Countryside Community Church canceled their Christmas Eve services due to the storm, and there may have been a few others in town that did as well; so perhaps some of their people attended here. Whatever the case, the bad weather may have been a factor in our church being a vital ministry in our community during the Christmas weekend. There were a few preschool alumni families in attendance, which is always nice to see, knowing our preschool is also a vital ministry here. Regarding our midweek Advent services, I have prepared a separate article on that if you wish to read it.

Looking ahead at 2023, Lent starts on Sunday, February 26th! I hope we see as many if not more visitors this coming Easter as we did Christmas 2022—without the bad weather. And of course, I always encourage and pray for strong attendance from you, our members. There are a couple of special events happening during Lent I want you to get ready for: on Saturday, March 4, we are hosting the Kapelle choir from Concordia University Chicago. They will give a concert of sacred choral music in our sanctuary at 7:00 PM. The other event is an evening with our friend Yoel Ben David from Jews for Jesus. He will be here Sunday, March 26th at 5:00 PM to give us an update on his ministry. This event might include a potluck dinner – more on that as we get closer.

God’s blessings be upon you and your family as we enter the new year.

Pastor Don