Weekly Update
June 4, 2021
Worship
Scripture Lesson:
2 Corinthians 4:7-18 
Communion
Holy Communion will be celebrated at all services this weekend, using gluten-free, individually-packaged Communion elements. If you worship with us remotely, you are welcome to stop by the church and retrieve these elements from the basket in the foyer of the Sanctuary entrance, so you may commune with us during the livestream presentation.
Online and Call-In Services
Our weekly service is livestreamed at 8:30AM on Sunday, and can be viewed via our app, website, Facebook, or YouTube.

A call-in devotional is offered on Sunday afternoon. Call 412-485-0213.
In-Person Services
Please join us for the following in-person services, and note that registration is no longer required. Click here for important updates, effective this weekend.

6:00 PM Saturday - George Crooks Dining Area
Pastor Jeff preaching
Starting this weekend, Saturday evening worship will take place in our (air conditioned) dining area

8:30 AM Sunday - Sanctuary [also livestreamed]
Pastor Jeff preaching

9:30AM Sunday - Faith's Chapel in the Woods
Pastor Chad preaching
Fellowship Hall will be available in the event of inclement weather. You are welcome to either bring a chair or sit on the benches.

10:30AM Sunday - Sanctuary
Pastor Jeff preaching

6:00PM Sunday - Parking Lot
Graduate Recognition
Sermon given by Jordan Atkins, NA graduating senior
Bring a chair to sit outside or tune into 106.1 FM

7:00PM Sunday Wholeness & Healing Service - Sanctuary
If you would like to attend remotely, please join us on Zoom. You are welcome to pick up blessed Communion elements from the church entrance, or contact Pastor Karen if you would like for her to deliver them after the service.
Meeting ID: 974 8990 3647
Call In: +1 301-715-8592
This Week
Plant Sale - Tomorrow!
Our Plant and Garden Sale is tomorrow, Saturday, June 5 from 9:00AM - noon (or until we sell out).

Stop by to shop our outdoor collection of house plants, flower pots, nursery pots, seedlings, annuals, perennials, seeds, and garden flags and decor. We look forward to seeing you!
Thank You
To my beloved church family,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your celebration of my seminary graduation, I am absolutely overwhelmed by your loving cards, gifts, prayers, calls, and blessings. And beyond these recent celebrations, thank you so very much for your steadfast support and encouragement throughout our seminary journey, and for learning and studying with me. As I have said many times, I wish there were two name lines on my diploma because St. Paul’s UMC should be on there with me, just as you have been in this whole experience with me. God is so good to us, and I am so thankful to continue our lifelong learning as disciples of Jesus together for a new season of ministry. 

With much love and appreciation,
Pastor Karen
St. Paul's Drop-In Child Care Registration
Drop-In Child Care registration for the 2021-2022 school year will open for all St. Paul's members this Wednesday, June 9. Please click here for details.
Feed the Hungry Children in Pittsburgh
The Working for Justice ministry will be walking with the Neighborhood Resilience Project (NRP) by providing weekend bag lunches for the children who they serve in Pittsburgh. Starting July 9, WFJ volunteers will be purchasing, preparing, and packing bag lunches that will be distributed to needy children who might not otherwise eat (much) over the weekend. Can you help us?

We are inviting you to support this effort financially at this time. Our goal is to collect sufficient funds to pay for the lunches for the next 6 months. That totals $1,800, or about $300 per month. If you can help, please send a check to the church office, or donate online, and please note Neighborhood Bag Lunch. We of course welcome all who may want to volunteer their time as well. Contact Michael DiMonte for more information.

Please remember what Jesus said. James 2:14-18 “... You have faith; I have deeds. Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.”

The next Working for Justice ministry meeting will focus on details of the bag lunch program, and will be held virtually on Thursday, June 10, at 7:00PM:
St. Paul’s Strategic Planning and Implementation Ministry Update
During April of this year, the SPIM team organized a series of focus group meetings. The entire congregation was invited and approximately 60 people participated. 

The focus groups were a great success! We have recorded 30 pages of typed notes from the six sessions. Clearly, this is a wealth of information about St. Paul’s, and the SPIM team thanks every who participated for investing so much time and energy. The strategic issues and opportunities identified include communications, volunteerism, what it means to be a disciple, and much more. If you are interested in reading the focus group summary, please contact the church office.
We're Hiring!
St. Paul's United Methodist Church is seeking a compassionate, caring adult to care for infants through four-year olds on Sunday mornings, weekly from approximately 8:15-11:45AM. We need a dependable person who is able to lift 30 pounds, change diapers, and has reliable transportation. Criminal history, child abuse, and FBI fingerprint certifications are needed (or must be acquired prior to employment). St. Paul’s is an equal opportunity employer. If you know a person who might be interested, please share this information. If you have questions please contact Erin Soza (412-486-7006 x217).
Altar Flowers
If you would like to sign up to gift altar flowers to beautify our chancel, please do so by the Tuesday before the Sunday of your choice. Sign up by clicking here! Acknowledgements can be included in our Worship Guide, so be sure to add a comment. Contact the church office with questions.
Update from Pastor Jeff
We sent out a special email on Wednesday about rolling back some of our COVID restrictions for worship attendance, in keeping with the progress we are making in beating the Coronavirus. As is always the case, these changes were heralded by some as most welcome, woefully inadequate by others, and too much too soon by a third group. That tells me our sense of caution and safety is striking a decent balance!

I’ve been writing these updates since the COVID-19 crisis resulted in an eight-week, total shutdown of St. Paul’s last March. My updates, and the entire Friday email, have become an important way to get information into your hands. I am expecting that you will receive one more of these messages from me, next Friday, June 11, as Sunday, June 13 will be my final day as lead pastor of St. Paul’s (my actual retirement date is July 1, but I am taking some unused vacation days for the rest of June). I’m hoping that final update next week will continue to provide more good news about our “recovery” from the pandemic as a community, a country, and a church.

Lots of “final things” have been my experience over the past few weeks—final Bible studies, administrative meetings, baptisms, funerals, and strategic planning sessions. My wife and others keep asking “what it feels like” as these things occur. On one hand, it feels weird, but then those of you who have already retired know what that is like. We pastors do have a bit of a different experience with this, though. On one hand, we have lived a 24/7 career wherein the phone (or pager a couple of decades ago) could go off at any time of the day or night, sending us to homes, hospitals, or to the scene of a tragic accident for comfort and prayer.

On the other hand, even after retiring, we are more like reservists than retirees, as we continue as “active members” of the Annual Conference, and may be called upon by the Bishop to step into interim ministry or fill in for a recuperating colleague. Ordination and God’s call do not go away with retirement. I have already been asked if I’m willing to be on several “lists” to fill pulpits for vacationing colleagues. This is a little different from the experience of most other retirees—banks don’t call up a retired banker asking, “Hey, can you come in tomorrow to make a few loans?” A number of my colleagues have moved out of state to avoid being asked to “reenlist,” but that rarely works. One of my 75-year-old former clergy colleagues reached out to congratulate Dara and me on our pending retirement, but went on to say that he and his clergy wife are each serving two churches in Texas, where they “fled.” God isn’t limited by new addresses or unlisted numbers.

What a blessing it is to know we are leaving St. Paul’s in such good hands. Our Leadership Team is the finest group of people with whom I have ever had the privilege of serving. Our church and Weekday Ministries staffs are tops in the Annual Conference. And Amy, Karen, and Chad are young, enterprising, strongly spirit-connected, and life-long-learning clergy leaders, and are unmatched as a clergy team in this Conference, in my opinion. (And as one who had a hand in approving and ordaining about half of our current clergy population—including Amy and Chad—my opinion should count for something!)

OK, enough ruminating for now. A word of congratulations to our own Rebecca Konegen, who will begin her final year at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary this Fall, and who has been appointed to the Epworth UMC here in Allison Park as their pastor. She will serve as a student pastor while she finishes her theological education. Keep Becky in prayer for this exciting endeavor.

And yet another word of congratulations to Pastor Karen for being awarded the Brooks Foundation Commencement Prize (given to the top student in the pastoral care area of study) during her graduation last week from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary!

As the Summer season approaches, Dear Ones, we hope you will use the relaxed COVID restrictions as an opportunity to rejoin the in-person community at St. Paul’s. You are missed. Your unwavering prayer and financial support of the church has been extraordinary, but your presence is so important to our community of faith, too. Be well, be safe, friends, but join us for worship soon! Grace and peace to you all! 
Adult Ministries
Blessing Bags for the Homeless
The Community Support Team is collecting Blessing Bags to be distributed to homeless people on the North Side in conjunction with the Daily Bread meal ministry. We consulted with Pastor Bob, who directs the Daily Bread ministry, to find out what would be most helpful. He gave us the following list, and said that July and August are the months when these items are especially needed. We hope to deliver a large supply of blessing bags when St. Paul’s next serves with Daily Bread on June 24. Please consider packing some bags to share. There is a large bin outside St. Paul’s Wesley Hall entrance to receive complete blessing bags. Alternatively, if you’d like the Community Support Team to do the shopping, please consider a monetary donation. The cost is just under $10 per bag. (Click here to donate online and select Community Sharing from the drop-down menu, or mail a check to the church and note Community Sharing on the memo line.) We also suggest keeping a bag or two on hand in your car, to be prepared to bless someone in need as the opportunity arises.

Please place the following Blessing Bag items in a gallon-size Ziplock bag:
  • White socks
  • Wash cloth
  • Bar of soap
  • Disposable face masks
  • Deodorant
  • Granola bars or bagged snack (consider hot weather tolerant snacks)
  • Bottle of water
Pastor Karen's Bible Study
Pastor Karen's Bible Study meets weekly on Wednesdays at 9:00AM. All are welcome!
 
Meeting ID: 969 5720 6810
Pastoral Visits
With your pastors all now fully vaccinated, and the easing of some hospital/nursing home restrictions, we are grateful to be able to visit with our beloved church family in person. Please contact Pastor Karen (412-889-2355) if you would like to arrange a visit.
Guide Book & Directory
We are updating our Guide Book! Please contact Jacque Lang with any contact information updates since last year. (Different phone number, new address, family member moved, change of name, etc.)
 
Contact information updates should include any updates, AND if you would like to be listed in the Guide Book. Please note that if we do not receive updates, your information will be published as it was in last year's Guide Book. If you are unsure if your information is correct, please let us know!
Children & Youth Ministries
Children's Ministry Update
Check out new opportunities to be in ministry!
Youth Ministry Update
We appreciate your continued financial support. For those of you who typically place your gifts in the offering plate and are continuing to worship from home, please consider mailing them to the church office (1965 Ferguson Road, Allison Park 15101).

Have you found yourself shopping online more often? Please register for Amazon Smile in the name of St. Paul's and use the UMC Market (Allison Park) as a portal for all your online shopping. St. Paul's receives a small percentage from your purchases at no extra cost to you!