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Weekly Update


October 1, 2015


St. Paul is a congregation of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and is Reconciling in Christ.
Pastor's Page

Check up/Check in

                The leader of a church consulting firm once told me that they bring in an outside consultant from time to time to consult with them about their consulting.  That might sound like a cat chasing its tail, but it was really something wise.  Churches, non-profits, corporations, almost any group--including a family--can benefit from some careful listening and a fresh perspective, often from the outside looking in.  Communities and companies get into patterns of living and functioning that need a good looking over from time to time.  That's exactly what we are getting this weekend Oct. 3-5 with a visitation from the Rev. Renee LiaBraaten.  She was just named Associate to the Bishop for Generosity in New England and we are the first congregation she is working with in this new role (see notice and profile below).  We engaged her services over the summer before she got this new title to help us explore a possible capital campaign.  But there is more going on here than that. 
                We worked with Pastor Renee ten years ago.  She got to know us well and offered expert guidance as we undertook a major expansion of our facilities.  But that was a long time ago and things have changed.  I'm so glad she is able to check in with us and get to know us again.  What better way than to ask powerful questions (see below) in discussions with 30-40 individual households and gather into a couple of focus groups this Sunday.  It's not just about debt, or parking, our organ, or the fellowship hall.  It's also about our life together, our ministry and mission as a congregation, our present and our future.  I'm convinced that God will make good use of her visit and we will be all the stronger for it.  She will share a report on the health of St. Paul and the feasibility of a campaign in writing and in person on Sunday Oct. 18. 
                Thanks to all of you who signed up for confidential interviews.  Just follow the signs up to the church offices to the waiting area outside the upper lounge and Renee will come find you.  There are ten spots left and going fast!  For those who can't fit that in their schedule or would prefer a group setting, you're invited to join in this Sunday at 9:30 or 11:45 a.m. here at church.  There are links for sign ups (required for interviews) below, but you could just show up for a group. 
                I'm convinced, along with the church council and vision team, that this is a good time to take stock and try to address some financial and facility needs.  Even more I feel blessed to have someone as wise and trusted as Pastor Renee visit us and see how we are doing. 
Yours, Ross

Links to sign ups    Interview     Groups

Link to Information letter
Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Sunday October 4, 2015
Serving in Worship and Fellowship

Deacon: Aurelio Ramirez
Altar Guild:  Nicole Blanchard, Sue French
Children’s Church: Kathy Devaney
Coffee:  Melissa Hoge, Sarah Carter
Lector:  Peter Hedlund
Tellers:  Scott Vermilya, Peter Hedlund
Ushers: Taryn Walsh, Aurelio Ramirez, Wendy Stack, Dan Ries
Worship Assistants: Alice Davidson, Madeleine Ekmekjian

A Loved Face
Pastor Goodman

Genesis 2:18-24
Psalm 8
Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12
Mark 10:2-16
St. Paul Adult Forum spelled in Scrabble tiles
Join us each Sunday at 9:30 am for Adult Forum as we learn, wonder, and grow in faith together through a variety of different formats and topics. 

On October 4, Rev. Renee Liabraaten will facilitate a focus group concerning the Capital Campaign.  
Eric Worringer's Ordination

The New England Synod announces the ordination of Eric Randall Worringer, who has been called to serve as pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

You are invited to Worship with Eucharist on:

Saturday, October 17th, 4:00pm

Saint Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church
929 Concord Turnpike
Arlington, MA 01840

Bishop Jim Hazelwood of the New England Synod will preach and preside, Mark and Sarah Huber will be the musicians of the day.

Clergy and other Religious Leaders are invited to process with vestments appropriate to their tradition. The color of the day is red.

A reception will follow.

Parking is available at the Church, and on side streets nearby.

Arlington is a nearby suburb to Boston, and is easily accessible from nearby hotels and Boston Logan.

Social Ministry Corner
Help Students in South Sudan
Students from Wunlang in South Sudan showing school work

The St. Paul congregation was at the center of a resettlement of refugee minors from Sudan called "the lost boys” in 2001. We partnered with Lutheran Social Services to set up a group home in the former parsonage and a few families in the church welcomed these new immigrants. A non-profit in the Boston area, Village help for South Sudan, continued the work with relief and rebuilding efforts in South Sudan.
Through Village Help for South Sudan, St. Paul has had a long standing relationship with the village of Wunlang. In partnership with this non-profit, St. Paul has helped to fund the building of a school, community center, and medical center. In the past, we have provided funding for sewing machines and training in order for villagers to become tailors and sew school uniforms using local materials. In addition, the mid-wife kits assembled in June were sent to Wunlang for two years. In the past year, St. Paul has helped buy food for the school because of food shortages in the area. The village has grown because of its improvements and successes but the need is always great.
Education is the key to helping the village continue to move forward. Economic and family needs make it difficult for many children to attend school. Providing uniforms and food at the school encourages families to send their children and school attendance increases. The social ministry committee wants to help with this effort by providing the money to buy the material for the uniforms. The uniforms will be made in the village with fabric purchased locally. Our goal is to raise enough money for 543 uniforms at a cost of $10 per uniform. This amount would provide a uniform for each child attending the Wunlang school.
The fund raising runs from September 20th to October 4th. In addition, we are asking children to help raise money to buy supplies such as pencils and notebooks for the village children. We encourage children to think about what school supplies they need and what they could help a Sudanese child obtain. Children can give any amount, from pennies to dollars.
Studnets from Wunland in South Sudan outside school building
Weekly Schedule Bright Sunset
Saturday, 10/3
    Interviews with Renee LiaBraaten

Sunday, 10/4
     Interviews with Renee LiaBraaten
     Education Hour

Monday 10/5
     Interviews with Renee LiaBraaten

Tuesday 10/6

Wednesday 10/7
     Faith and Brews @ Donohue's

Thursday 10/8
     Choir Rehearsal

Renee LiaBraaten
Rev. Renée LiaBraaten named Associate to the Bishop
The Synod is thrilled to announce the appointment of Rev. Renée LiaBraaten as the new Associate to the Bishop for Generosity!
Rev. LiaBraaten served as a parish pastor for 14 years before becoming a stewardship consultant with Kairos and Associates in 1999. Renee has extensive experience in leading congregations of all sizes through customized stewardship, capital funding and visioning programs. Renee is a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., and Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. She has worked in Estonia and Latvia, raising funds and organizing summer work projects to help rebuild churches in the Baltic States. She has led stewardship workshops at The Parish Resource Center in Lancaster, Pa., the Northeast Stewardship Conference, and numerous Synod Assemblies. Renée lives on the coast of Maine with her husband, Jerry, a newly retired ELCA pastor.

In her position, Rev. LiaBraaten will have primary responsibilities for cultivating thanksgiving and generosity in our synod by assisting congregations in their stewardship practices, working with the Macedonia Generosity Team, leading efforts in a newly-designed Mission Support partnership, and working in the area of development. She and Ms. Kimberly Bergstrand, the Associate to the Bishop for Mission, will work in tandem to perform many of the duties formerly tasked to the director for evangelical mission. 

one mug with dark beer and one with light beer cheersing each other with beer mugs of their own.  Faith and brews with wired word.
Did you miss the opportunity to join Faith and Brews this week?  Join us next week for Faith and Brews at 7:30pm on Wednesday, September 30We'll gather at Donohue's Bar and Grill at 87 Bigelow Ave, Watertown, MA

This week's headline is
Pope Francis Speaks to the Powerful and the Poor

Faith and Brews is an opportunity to gather midweek for some fellowship and conversation about current events and our faith.  We'll be using the Wired Word to facilitate our conversation.  Each week Wired Word puts together material for faith based conversation and reflection on the week's current events in the news. 

If you have questions contact Megan by email.

CYF Corner
Things are happening! 

Education Hour registration
Sunday School registration papers are available!  You can find links to pdf forms below or you can find them in the entryway of the sanctuary.  If you have questions about what is available during this hour on Sunday mornings, please chat with Megan

We have gatherings for all ages! 
Godly Play 1 - Pre-K and Kindergarteners
Godly Play 2 - 1st and 2nd graders
Spark - 3rd, 4th and 5th graders
Bible GPS - Middle School
Confirmation - 8th and 9th grade. 

Registration form for one child.
Registration form for multiple children.
Oikoumene prayer icon
In solidarity with our ecumenical partners, the World Council of Churches invites us to pray for specific countries each week. This week we pray for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia. You can find the year-long prayer cycle online at  

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