St. Paul's United Methodist Church
Saturday, January 16, 2021



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.



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
September 24, 2020

Greetings Church Family,

October has quickly fallen upon us. It seems like my pastoral assignment began just yesterday, yet three months have already flown by. Leading this virtual congregation has only been made possible by God’s grace and the support of an amazing staff and congregation. Therefore, I take this Fall season to simply thank God for the many bountiful blessings that he has so graciously bestowed upon us. Even during this time of pandemic, God who has made it possible for us to labor in the vineyard. For instance, this church has continued to respond to the needs of others. Our youth, after their Summer mission trip was cancelled, continuing to do mission by assisting seniors with yard work was a blessing. It doesn’t stop there. The Saturday morning pray walk was a wonderful opportunity for the church to connect and provide a spiritual presence within the town of Odessa. It doesn’t stop there. The midweek pray service engaged between 200 and 300 weekly viewers. Mark Holden’s photography, Vicki Spence’s meditations, Duane Dillard’s piano orchestrations, Amy Brown’s organ masterpieces, Gail Garner’s sign language tutorials along with the various liturgists makes these midweek virtual services very impactful and meaningful to many. It doesn’t stop there. Carole Harmon’s Thursday morning prayer line empowers a community of weekly prayer warriors, not only in our church, but for the advancement of God’ kingdom. It doesn’t stop there. The virtual agape meal, along with the pray walk communion and outside service communion, have been creative ways that this parish has made Christ inclusive table available and accessible. It doesn’t stop there. Although this last Sunday of September concludes Deaf-awareness month, the St. Paul’s family’s participation in the ASL lessons that Gail Garner, not only supported deaf awareness but also displayed the church coming alongside and acknowledging that ASL is not just a language and communication tool but worship, celebration and honor to God. It doesn’t stop there. Church administrator: Alice Mullins, along with other church leaders, continue to work over and beyond to maintain organization and communication as we continue to navigate ministry during these unprecedented times.

Pastoral care is my passion. Parish Nurse: Ann Newswanger has organized and accompanied me on over 18 visitations. These visitations have helped me in feeling more connected to the church family. I look forward to pastoral care being the highlight of our parish ministry.

Please join me in applauding our Sunday School teachers. As our previous family life coordinator, Vicki Spence, moved into retirement, she along with the Sunday School teachers organized a virtual rotation and also made packets for children PreK to fifth grade. These lessons have been both engaging and inspiring for our little ones.

Fall small groups are presently being formed. Ryan Scott is leading the Virtual Adult Studies. Starting in October, Hap Bonham will once again be leading the United Methodist Men’s study in the grove. The Tops group are having weekly outings in the Grove. My friend, Sam Harrell, who has also provided music videos during our Sunday morning virtual service, will provide a Wednesday evening virtual bible study. This will be made accessible through the church web page. Lastly, I will present a virtual Fall study on Holy Communion. More info will be coming soon.

The music ministry will provide choral virtual music for the upcoming months. This will provide a safe process in sharing group music.

Technology is continuing to take St. Paul’s ministry to new heights. The gifts and talents of Josh Reitzes and Courtney Martin are continuing to allow our media ministry to evolve. The recent technology donations of Charlie Miller and the United Methodist Men have also been a blessing to the media ministry. Lastly, Al Schrum is in the process of mounting two 65-inch screens in the sanctuary so that in person will be touchless. Meaning that the use of technology will decrease the risk of spreading germs through touching hymn books and paper programs.

I thank everyone for their support, emails, cards, feedback, and chat responses. You have proven your genuine involvement and engagement, as not merely spectators, but worshipers.

Please be in prayer as the church moves towards in person worship starting in mid-October at 11:00 am and 4:00 pm. Virtual Sunday morning worship will continue as it is made accessible beyond our four walls to the entire world. Any suggestions or ideas that can enhance worship and ministry are always appreciated.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Kevin


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 ( 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  ( 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 ( and Facebook site (St. Paul’s UMC Odessa -

Adjust to electronic ( 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):

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Delaware Division of Public Health: