St. Paul's United Methodist Church
Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Worship

 

 
We invite you to worship with us each Sunday!
You will be warmly welcomed as you experience
the love and the grace of God through our
Sunday worship services and teaching.

   

 

 
SUNDAY WORSHIP SCHEDULE
 
ON-LINE LIVE SERVICE - 8:30 AM
ON-LINE LIVE ADULT STUDIES - 10:00 AM 
 
 
  
The folks of St. Paul’s offer worship in which we honor tradition, are challenged with the Christian journey, celebrate the Word and share our stories in the intimate setting that is St. Paul's Church. Parents are encouraged to bring their children to worship for the Children’s Celebration at each service. If you and your family are searching for meaningful worship and discipleship, join us for these opportunities to explore your faith. St. Paul’s is a spiritual home for people of all ages and backgrounds and for families, traditional and non-traditional, where creativity and passion for the Gospel flourish and we are bound by the love of God that draws us together.
 
Pastor's Letter
March 3, 2021

Greetings!

I pray that this pastoral quarterly letter finds you and your family well. A year has come and gone, and the world still seems to be turned upside down as we continue to grapple the effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Our only hope is in the Lord. Therefore, as your spiritual leader, I encourage you to continue to look to hills from which cometh your help, knowing that all our help comes from the Lord. (Psalm 121:1-2).

I thank everyone for their support and involvement, during the season of Lent. Ash Wednesday was a huge success. From the drive by Ashes kit to the joint Ash Wednesday Service with Ebenezer UMC (Delaware City, DE) and St. Daniel’s UMC (Port Penn, DE), I am continuing to receive positive feedback from our congregation and our two sister churches. I thank everyone for their support of Martin Luther King Jr. Day along with Black History Month. The church used the MLK day of service, as an opportunity to clean the yard debris at our beloved, Zoar UMC. The presenters, during these two celebrations, were so elated and honored to share their culturally diverse experiences.

During the month of March, St. Paul’s will celebrate Woman’s History Month. Various Women, throughout the congregation and community, will be celebrated. Holy week will consist of a 7:00 PM Virtual Maundy Thursday Service, a 7 PM Virtual Good Friday Seven Last Words Service and a 9:00 AM Saturday Morning Easter Vigil Walk through the town of Odessa. The Joint UMC Easter Gathering in the Middletown Park was cancelled, due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Easter Sunrise Service will be a Jeanne Buckworth’s House at 7:00 AM. Our own Michael Kennedy and his band will provide the music for that service. The Easter Sunday morning virtual service will take place at 8:30 AM.  We'll be having a children's Easter Egg Hunt outdoors on Saturday, April 3rd, so we'll need some candy. Anyone wishing to donate bags of individually wrapped candy (try to avoid peanut butter and nuts, so there aren't allergy issues) can drop them by St. Paul's Monday through Thursday between 9am and 2pm. Our Administrative Assistant, Alice Mullins will unlock the door for you and there's a basket just inside the side door for that purpose. Thanks so much and more details to come!

On the Second Sunday in March, I am inviting everyone to wear green as we embrace the season of St. Patrick’s Day. If you could take your picture and submit by March 8th, I will include it a collage during the Sunday morning service. Mark Holden will provide the message using his photography. We will also have an Irish bag piper featured in the service. The hymns and readings will also reflect and celebrate Irish culture.

The Wednesday prayer will be postponed for the week of March 3rd. On the second Sunday in April, Bishop Peggy Johnson will bring the message in sign language. The entire service will be in ASL, with captions, as we celebrate Deaf Awareness Month. Staring March 10th, I am re-vamping the Wednesday Prayer Service. This weekly service will include: 1. Photography and Reflection from Mark Holden, Resident Artist 2. A Psalm from Family Coordinator, Rev. Ryan Scott, 3. Organ Music from Amy Brown, Music Director 4. Piano Music from Duane Dillard, Minister of Music 5. An Epistle Reflection from Pastor Kevin Benjamin 6. and a sign lesson from Gail Garner. The Saturday Morning Prayer Walks and the Sunday Evening Outside Grove Services will resume in May. 

In closing, I thank the entire congregation for your continued prayer and support of the St. Paul’s UMC ministry. I praise God for all the volunteers and Ministry leaders that go over and beyond the call of duty. I also highlight the following small groups Children’s Sunday School, Youth Group, Adult Studies, and the Prayer Team, in their endeavor to provide ongoing spiritual formation. Weekly pastoral care visits have recently resumed with extreme caution and social distancing. Our Administrative Assistant, Alice Mullins along with myself, are working around the clock to support the ministry of the parish. Josh and Courtney are also going the extra mile to provide a meaningful Sunday Morning Virtual Service. Ryan Scott, Nancee Bleistine, and Patti Ravilious will periodically assist me on the preaching rotation. Their support is essential in enabling me to provide a more balanced and healthier ministry.  I am at the church everyday putting in the time that is necessary to make St. Paul’s UMC shine. If you need me for any reason, please do not hesitate to call me at 302-312-3636 or email me at pastorkevin@stpaulsodessa.org. I am also thankful for your prayers for my grandson, Nickhi, who is now out of the hospital and doing well at home.

May God bless you on your journey.

Rev. Kevin Benjamin

 

 

SPUMC Guidelines - March 18, 2020

  

It is now clear this quarantine will remain in effect for several weeks at least. CDC guidelines recommend eight weeks, which would end on Mother’s Day, May 10. Bearing these things in mind, the following priorities guide our response:

1.    Replace the cancellation/isolation mindset with a strategy of meeting and gathering in different ways (using new and old technology - and creatively adapting/leveraging new skill sets, technology and opportunities).

a.   Beginning Sunday, March 29, we will Worship Sundays on Facebook Live (https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsOdessa/) at 8:30 am, followed by Adult Study Group at 10:00 (you can use the link without a Facebook account).

b.    Meetings and Study Groups will continue meeting online using tools like Zoom  (https://zoom.us/ which is free for up to 40 minutes for 100 people or less – and costs $15 monthly for longer meetings), by phone calls or conferencing, or other innovative, online methods.

c.    Vicki Spence, our Family Life Coordinator, is checking in on our Sunday School teachers and asking them to check-in on the kids in their class. Our goal is to call, text, email and/or send mail weekly to each child and their family. The first packet with Lent activities will be mailed this week.

d.    We encourage everyone to explore and experiment with other online gathering opportunities, using our creativity to connect with each other (online book groups, prayer gatherings, virtual dinner parties and game nights).

e.    Although all meetings and gatherings at our building (both church-sponsored and outside group partners) have been cancelled, our church office remains open Mon-Thu from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

2.    Intentionally connect with every member of the congregation at least weekly (and perhaps more often for our more vulnerable members), so that our necessary practices of social distancing do not also mean social and spiritual isolation.

a.    Ellie Leuliette has organized a team of 14 caring callers who are checking in on our members and friends at least once a week! Thank you all so much!

b.   We will continue to distribute our weekly bulletin and newsletter via email, mail, and through our website (http://www.stpaulsodessa.org/) and Facebook site (St. Paul’s UMC Odessa - https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsOdessa/).

Adjust to electronic (http://www.stpaulsodessa.org/VANCOOnlineGiving) and mail-in financial giving, as well as a broad range of financial strategies, including budget cuts and use of our reserves, in order to maintain staff and facilities through the end of this quarantine period.

 

 

Delaware Declaration of State of Emergency

 

World Health Organization (WHO): https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Delaware Division of Public Health: https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/epi/2019novelcoronavirus.html