From The Pastor
It has been over a month since we last held our worship services together in person. A lot has changed over a month. We have been having services on Facebook live at our page @stpaulsmarietta as well as on our call in line at 425-436-6341 with the access code number 559233 both on regular service time at 10AM. 54 people received communion that we were able to partake together on April 6th as well as this past Sunday Easter Sunday.
I am reminded by Paul in his words to Timothy “Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not” (2 Timothy 4:2). Even in this unfavorable time we are still managing to get together pray, sing, and hear a sermon due to modern technology. God is still working and it is my prayer that we will gather together again soon in the sanctuary. Know that I am praying for you and our country. We will get through this with God’s help.
Worshiping at St. Paul’s at home on Facebook is definitely different, but it’s OK for a while. Rather than seeing it as the church being closed, we prefer to see it as the church activated in the community. Too often we think that the church is all about the people in the building. But it’s not just that. It’s also about the church people in the community. In church (in the building) we learn and practice being Christian. In the community we exercise Christian love and service to all we interact with.
Consistory met April 6, 2020, at 6:30 in video conference. A quorum was established. It was interesting hearing the minutes from the last meeting read because we talked about a lot of things that we were planning to do. But nothing got done in March due to the national quarantine. We won’t forget those things, but we can’t do much until the quarantine is lifted.
The Treasurer’s report was also brief. Giving was down 41.8% from the previous month. But March had 5 Sundays, so it was a little higher than that. Nonetheless, giving is down substantially, which is understandable.
Please continue your regular giving. Checks can be sent to the church, Dorothy picks them up weekly. Peoples Bank customers can use their BillPay service to send money to the church. Also, we have put a PayPal button on the website, at the bottom of each page. You can make digital contributions to St. Paul’s there (or below) with PayPal or any credit card. You do not need to have a PayPal account to use your credit card. People who usually give cash, keep giving, set it aside, and bring it when we meet again (hopefully, soon). Thank you for your faithfulness and understanding in this regard.
The church investment account lost $14,797.88 in March; 15,112.94 YTD, which is not bad considering the market. Consistory believes that the market will recover, and a “steady as she goes” strategy is best for now. Sharon will contact Peoples Bank to confer with our financial adviser.
Consistory also voted to give $250 to the Gospel Mission Food Pantry, and $1,000 to the Oak Grove Christian School. Pastor Phil is a board member at Oak Grove Christian School and shared news of their financial difficulties. Also, The Director is the pastor at St. John’s in Lowell. Lindsey Frame (Linda Stewart’s granddaughter) teaches there. The chairman of the board is a member of Wagner Union Church. One of the teachers, also a board member, is a member of Highland Ridge Community Church. The kids are not in the school building, people’s incomes are down, and cash flow at the school is struggling.
Phil Ross, Consistory President