Nov. 27, 2022

Advent Services

Wednesday Advent services will be at 6pm, starting November 30th.

During the Advent season we will be collecting new socks and underwear for our Clothing Closet in a box just outside the sanctuary. This is a common request for Clothing Closet with children and is greatly appreciated.

Caroling At The Bridge

Everyone is invited to join the choir at Hanover’s annual Caroling At The Bridge event on Friday, December 2nd. The event runs from 6-8 pm and in addition to area choirs it will feature bonfires, St. Nick, a one-horse open sleigh, cookies and beverages, and more! St. Paul’s members are invited to join the choir and sing Christmas carols with us (you do not need to be able to sing in parts). We will meet at the bridge at 6:15 pm. Friends and family are welcome as well!

Advent/Christmas Servers

We have a lot of serving opportunities coming up during the Advent/Christmas season. We are looking for readers, ushers, and greeters for all the services. If you would like to serve please sign up in the Narthex or call the church office.

Lost and Found Items

Please check the lost and found located on top of the coat hanger. Any items left in there will be donated to our Clothing Closet on November 30th.

Congregational Sympathy

Our sympathies to Jan Heyerdahl for the passing of Jan’s sister Joyce Stocke (Bjorklund) Monday November 21st. Please keep the Heyerdahl and Stocke families in your prayers.

PEP Lunches

If you are interested in joining the next PEP lunch it is Tuesday, December 13th at 11:30. You can sign up in the Narthex, call the office, email Staci, or just show up! Our last PEP lunch was another great time of fellowship and we hope to see you again next time

Last Week’s Worship Attendance:

8am— 69


10:30am— 68


Total Attendance—299

Last Week’s Offering:

Offering: $10,480

Online Giving: $5,834

Building Preservation $125

Good Samaritan Fund: $5,000

Haiti: $15

Haiti Bake Sale $1,402

Trust and Memorial $5,000

Total Weekly Giving: $27,856

Advent Season Schedule of Events

11/27 4:00pm Advent Family Event

11/30 6:00pm Advent Service

12/2 6:00-8:00pm Caroling at the Bridge

12/4 8:00, 9:15, 10:30am Worship with the Bells

12/7 6:00pm Advent Service

12/11 8:00, 9:15, 10:30am Festival of Lessons and Carols

12/14 6:00pm Advent Service

12/18 9:15, 10:30am Christmas Program

12/21 6:00pm Advent Service

12/24 1:00, 2:30, 4:00, 5:30pm Christmas Eve Worship

12/24 10:00pm Candle light Christmas Eve Worship

12/25 10:00am Christmas morning Worship

1/1/23 10:00am New Year's Day Worship

St Paul's Calendar


August 2022

HGratitude vs. Entitlement…

I recently took my 13 year old to the bank to open up his first checking and savings account. He was excited to start saving, probably more excited to spend, but overall just excited to take a step in feeling more grown up. He had been hassling me to make an appointment, but why would I need an appointment for something so simple as opening an account? I’d think that would be a simple and welcomed process. Turns out, just walking in wasn’t going to help us achieve our goal that day. In fact, the earliest appointment we could get was 18 days out. I responded “poorly” as my son explained to my wife. It wasn’t anything crazy, but I guess I’m not used to a post-COVID world with far fewer people available to serve in-person customers. Looking back, I definitely acted entitled, and I don’t like it. It is definitely not my nature, but I also hate wasting time, and we had just wasted a whole trip to get this done. There I go making excuses…

Entitlement is a problem. I have two teenagers, this is my every day reality. I could blame myself for making life too easy for them, I could blame the world for telling them they “need” to have the newest and best. Or, I could be proactive and help them counter entitlement with gratitude. We can probably all do the same.

We are not immune to entitlement as God’s people. In fact, I’d say that we have slipped into entitlement as the norm and not the exception. Consider the rich young ruler. He did all the good things, all the right things, and because of it, he felt he was worthy of eternal life, that he was entitled to it. Yet Jesus knew his heart and knew he held something more dearly than his faith. He couldn’t give up his fortune and he went away discouraged. Imagine if we encountered Jesus and just assumed because we attend church regularly, share our finances, and volunteer once in a while that we deserve to have a front row seat to eternal life. It’d be like getting picked first for a team as a kid on the playground and telling the team captain, “You made the right choice, nice job”.

Here’s an example for you I can use since it is from a previous congregation. There was a section of seating that was awkwardly inserted next to the pipe organ and could only be accessed from one side since it butted up to the wall. Because of this, offering plates would just get passed across the aisle and then back. No big deal, or so I thought, oblivious to anything happening while I was leading worship. Well, as church folks do, the same people sat in that area regularly, and eventually one of them snapped. They came storming into my office one day and told me how frustrated they were that the baskets would only make it across the aisle half the time and they were left there holding their offering until the end of worship and then had to rush to find an usher to give it to them. So… doing my best to extend grace, I acknowledged that would be frustrating. I asked, “what do you think a good solution might be?” and they replied, “That’s not my job, that’s your job!” and walked out of my office. Now, how motivated am I or is any person to solve the problems of someone who acts like that? I have to laugh about it, or I’d just be really sad that my sermons were falling on deaf ears. I’m pretty sure that isn’t what Micah had in mind when he relayed God’s requirements of doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God. I know I’m not alone in saying that I’ve had moments in life that, while not so extreme, have had me flexing my entitlement when I should have been humbly seeking better options.

Instead of entitlement or the idea that we deserve something, a heart of gratitude experiences humility and thankfulness and gives credit away whether welcomed to the team or into eternal life. The appropriate response to that sort of invitation is “Wow. I sure haven’t done anything to deserve this, but I’ll happily and graciously accept!” And if the offering baskets weren’t making it to where you were sitting, you’d kindly ask the ushers, or volunteer to help make sure it happens and usher yourself, at least for that small part of worship.

It all comes down to what we practice. What you practice is what becomes routine. For the sake of God in a world that is full of people misrepresenting him, practice gratitude and humility and kindness and love. (Or, if you insist on acting entitled, don’t bring God into it and please don’t tell them where you go to church! It’s bad press for all parties involved)

God’s peace to God’s grateful people,

Pastor Luke