- Today: 10:00 Worship, Communion; 4-6 p.m. – Installation Service for Pastor Phil
- Tuesday: Bible Study @ Jeremiah’s, 2 p.m.; Elders, 3 p.m.
- Saturday: Emmaus Reunion Group, 8 a.m.; Music, 2:15 p.m.
- AA Meetings: in the Parish Hall:
- Tuesdays, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. – Discussion
- Wednesdays, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Big Book
- Fridays 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Discussion
- Sunday, October 30, 2-3 p.m. Hymn Sing at Jeremiah’s Coffee House. Tell your friends!
Sermon tomorrow: Duty
2 Timothy 1:8-14; Luke 17:5-10 – Christians are obligated to love, bound to love—not as a duty, but as an opportunity, as a joy!
Phillip A. Ross was ordained to Christian ministry in 1982 at First Congregational Church, Berkeley, California, and has served churches in Berkeley, CA; St. Louis, MO; Evansville, IN, Bellefonte, PA; Devola, OH, and Vienna, Wv; and has published 27 books, mostly biblical commentary, and has lived in Marietta with his wife, Stephanie, since 1996.
What is now St. Paul’s Evangelical Church began as the German Religious Society in 1838, serving new German immigrants arriving in the area in increasing numbers. The Society served people from all the Protestant groups the immigrants had left behind in their homeland. The purpose of the society was to provide the gospel in language that was understood by the people served. That is still our purpose today.
After a period of decline from the 1960’s through mid-1990’s, St. Paul’s embarked on a deliberate pilgrimage of redevelopment. The three ‘R’s of that pilgrimage are:
- The Reclamation of our evangelical faith, so that we are grounded firmly in God’s Good News in Jesus Christ;
- The Restoration of our property so that it stands as a clear indication of our commitment to be here and identify with our community.
- The Renewal of all the people God gives us to serve by meeting them where they live in the real world and claiming God’s grace for their lives, focusing our efforts to meet their needs today.
“…the genius of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and its predecessor peoples is to be found in their stubborn insistence that the word of God in the Scripture, as progressively revealed to his people through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, must be the ultimate authority for their life and faith, and that, however gratefully appreciative they are of the historic creeds, confessions, and institutions of Christian history, none of these may restrict the response of God’s people to the further leadings of his Spirit.”(A History Of The Evangelical And Reformed Church, Lowell H. Zuck, et. al., Pilgrim Press, New York, 1990, xxiv).
The mountaintop experience of revival fades over time, and unless people are actively drawn into further disciplined growth and maturity, their commitment will also fade. And this happens a lot! Just look at the boom and bust historical cycles of revival and relapse.
St. Paul’s people were determined to engage the ordinary means of grace: Word and Sacrament, or the weekly disciplines of ordinary faithfulness. Most Christians are better helped by the ordinary disciplines of faithfulness, the ordinary means of grace because the extraordinary means of grace are rare. They understood that the extraordinary means of grace manifested in revivals were just that—extraordinary, unusual, and rare. This is the heart of St. Paul’s Evangelical Church, and this core has been practiced for 184 years (1838-2022). This is the practice that we intend to maintain, come what may! Come, Lord Jesus!