Our congregation has gone through an exciting time of exploring what God’s vision is for Saint Paul. We began with a congregational gathering, a time of fellowship and prayer and Bible study and sharing ideas. The leadership of Saint Paul took all that information and condensed and channeled it into a new vision for our congregation. We believe that God’s vision for Saint Paul is to Boldly Share God’s Word and Unconditional Love with All.
In addition, we now have six Guiding Principles. These Guiding Principles are now being used whenever we make decisions at Saint Paul. These Guiding Principles are:
– Growing spiritually as disciples of Jesus.
– Welcoming and accepting people where they are.
– Giving generously to be a part of God’s work.
– Caring genuinely for one another with the love of Christ.
– Serving joyfully as Jesus’ hands and feet in the world.
– Inviting others to join with us in the body of Christ.
As Saint Paul strives to Boldly Share God’s Word and Unconditional Love with All, we are becoming well known in the community and the Lower Susquehanna Synod for its extensive outreach ministry to those in need.
A shining example of that is the dinner held each Wednesday evening for the people of the community. For some individuals and families, it is sometimes the only decent meal they get all week.
Much of our outreach ministry is under the leadership of Dr. Holly Hoffman. She currently serves at Saint Paul as a Diaconal Minister. (She completed her Masters Degree in Ministerial Studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg in 2009 and was consecrated as St. Paul’s Diaconal Minister on Sept. 19, 2010.) She leads much of the congregations social and outreach ministry, including our partnership with the Christ Lutheran Health Ministries Prenatal Clinic in Harrisburg, the Living Water Dental Health Clinic, and the Emmitsburg Council of Churches Kenya Mission.
The Rev. Nancy Easton was called as our Associate Pastor for Visitation in 2017. She offers pastoral care through hospital visits, home visits, and visitation to those residing in nursing homes. She also works with the Visitation and Communion teams to ensure good care of congregational members, preaches once a month at all weekend services and take up other tasks as assigned by the Lead Pastor.
Several other ministries are growing at this time. Our music program, under the leadership of Bill Hemminger, continues to be an excellent ministry at Saint Paul. He leads the senior choir in providing outstanding music for our traditional worship service as well as bringing a new level of excitement and excellence to our growing contemporary service.
Greg and Laura Guenther, serving as our Young Adult Ministers, have been hard at work building a community among the young adults. This group now meets regularly for fellowship and service projects as well as being a support system for each other during the transitions of life that are a part of the lives of young adults.
Moses Robson-Kavishe is our congregations Youth and Family Minister for our youth group – BOLD. Under his leadership, the group has grown significantly. But Moses does not just bring the youth together for fellowship – he teaches core values and skills to the youth of Saint Paul.
Saint Paul is currently one of the few growing congregations in the Lower Susquehanna of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). We have reversed the decline in worship attendance and membership and are now a growing congregation. We understand that our vision is to Boldly Share God’s Word and Unconditional Love with All. And we accomplish this by not only growing the outreach ministries of the congregation, but by growing ourselves as disciples of Jesus.
We have looked at the vital ministries of the past. We have looked at the wonderful things that God is doing at Saint Paul in the present. Now let us look to the future.
The Future of St. Paul Lutheran Church
The future of Saint Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church is in God’s hands. But we also understand that God primarily works through God’s people – us. As the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) states – “God’s Work, Our Hands.”
Recently the people of Saint Paul have been called not just to be members, but disciples. As we have heard on Sunday mornings that there are seven traits or characteristics of a disciple. They are:
A Disciple –
– Reads the Bible Daily
– Prayers Daily
– Worships Weekly
– Develops Christian Friends
– Serves Others
– Gives Joyfully of Ones Time and Talent
This is an exciting time in the life of Saint Paul. If you would like to be a part of a ministry that serves others, reaches out to the community, grows its members as disciples, and HAS FUN – Contact us. We’d love to have you be a part of our future.