Weekend of Sunday, May 28, 2023

The Day of Pentecost: Whitsunday

Are you ready for spiritual growth?

Life is never perfect. Nobody, no matter how much it may seem so, has it all together. From my own experience, though, I can tell you that there's one thing I've done in my life, and continue to do, that makes all the difference in how I respond to life's ups and down.

Focus on my spiritual life. Period. First and foremost.

I've said elsewhere, and will say many times again, that when I am focusing on my relationship with God as my #1 priority, all other areas of my life become more manageable. Problems don't disappear. Challenges continue to abound. But, with God's help, I'm up for the challenge.

Here, then, are 6 reasons to sign up for our "Life, Faith, Church" Retreat next weekend, and to commit to your own spiritual growth and vitality.

Reason #1: Developing your own "Rule of Life."

St. Paul's has a mission, vision, and set of guiding principles. We distill it all into what we call our "Rule of Life." If you've ever worshipped with us on Sundays you certainly know it: Growing in Relationships. Growing in Service. Growing in Christ. Ideally, when we are focusing on these three paths of growth as a community, we're headed in the right direction.

Do you have your own rule of life? Maybe you do, and you just don't realize it. This retreat will help move you in that direction.

Reason #2: Exploring the transformative power of participating in sacraments

Sometimes, it feels hard to find God. We're promised, however, that God is always with us in the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist. It's the one place we can always be assured of that presence.

Could you benefit from a deepened understanding of how the sacraments can be a source of God's present, transforming grace in your life?

Reason #3: Learning how the church helps us mark the milestones of life

What are the biggest milestones in a person's life? I bet if you think about it you can note how many of those milestones have a connection to your faith. Even the time-marking events of our city have a spiritual basis (think Mardi Gras, for instance).

Are there ways you can better internalize the spiritual connection life's milestones have for you and the people around you?

Reason #4: Discovering what you actually believe

Even people who have been part of the church for years, I find, do not have a firm grasp on their own set of beliefs, or what the church actually teaches. Sometimes people are surprised that only thought they knew their faith.

What beliefs are you curious about? What are your biggest faith-related questions?

Reason #5: Connecting your faith life with the rest of your life

It can be easy to compartmentalize our lives. I've got my work life over here, my family life over there, my faith life in this box, etc. The Christian life, however, is meant to be approached holistically. Our faith is meant to be lived out in all areas of our life.

Does your faith life feel holistic? Are there parts of your life that feel disconnected from your place in the Body of Christ of Sundays? Are you still part of the Body out in the world?

Reason #6: Discerning what spiritual practices work best for you

The Rev. Winnie Varghese, author and rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Atlanta, says, "The life of a Christian person is to find practices that take us closer and closer to union with God." Just like any other thing in life that requires practice and discipline, so it is with our spiritual lives.

What are your current spiritual practices? You may already have some and not even realize it as such. Have you tried other practices that might actually be better suited to you?

The Bottom Line

The one primary reason to commit to spiritual growth, as I said at the beginning of this email, is because doing so will lead to transformation of all the other areas of your life.

Are you ready? I hope you'll sign up to be with us next Friday and Saturday, June 2 and 3.

Best wishes for a Spirit-filled Pentecost this Sunday! Keep the faith, St. Paul's.

God's blessings,

P.S. - If you're interested in being baptized, confirmed, or formally received into The Episcopal Church from another tradition, this retreat will fulfill the necessary requirements to move forward. Bishop Duckworth will visit us Sunday, June 11, and she will be baptizing, confirming, and receiving. Even if you have already done those things, the retreat will have you ready to reset and move forward when we all renew our Baptismal Vows together during the Bishop's visit.

Learn more . . .

Visit our Website

St. Paul's Episcopal Church


In person worship

Sundays at 7:45 & 10:15 AM

Wednesdays at 5:30 PM

Virtual Services:

Sundays at 10:15 AM

Click Here to Watch the Service

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