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From the Pastor's Pen

In some sense this has been a year like non-other in our lives. We have had impacts, disruptions, challenges and deaths tolls that may well reach a half million, which with any genuine care, concern and plain simple empathy by some, key individuals such numbers could have been exceedingly lower. Scripture informs us of what our intrinsic nature and thoughts affirm. That is ‘we know not the day, nor hour when God calls, nor when the Son of God returns.’

We are however told that there is a time and place for all we encounter under God’s heaven, we read of such in Ecclesiastes chapter 3.
 
“There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter… and a time to gather…
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 
The year 2020 has been a year for the records. We’re still enduring a once in a century world-wide pandemic, that has proven to be more unnecessarily deadly and compounded by the abject failure of our current out-going national leadership in responding to and addressing the disruption and death, this pathogen has wrought upon our culture and society.

We have further suffered as a nation and particularly as a people in ways that presently are incalculable. For we will only began to understand the damage done, primarily by having someone in national office for the last four years who is physiologically damaged, as well as having deep character flaws, and rose to leadership by intentionally exploiting differences in our diverse culture as negative, and offering himself as a savior for those feeling lost, forgotten or left behind in this new and evolving world dynamic we now live in.

Given such a context, what were some of the known challenges and impacts visited upon St. Peter’s, our beloved church? We scrambled to respond to the on-set of this spreading and expanding pandemic. As information ebbed and flowed, and initial responses were changing by the hour, I established a “Crisis Response Team,” asking persons to serve who in my estimation could bring and share both expertise and wisdom to support our being and doing what would be best for all, and wanting most of all given the nature of what we were dealing with, to do “no harm.”
 
Our building was closed, no in-building worship, or gathering. We went at first to phone-in gatherings, and worship quickly followed by on-line video worship and conferencing, which we are still doing. In the midst of responding to this pandemic, life and all it entails was still on-going. Persons were still having their health and medical conditions and challenges, as well as deaths not all related directly to covid19 occurring.

Young persons, and others who were completing courses of study in institutions such as high schools and colleges, because of the impact of this virus it disrupted, then forestall and finally canceled their rituals and traditional passage rites of graduations and commencements experiences.
I myself completed the academia rigors and research, then defended such successfully to be awarded a Doctoral Degree, which I had been offered on an accelerated track some twenty-plus years ago when I obtained my Master of Divinity degree. With the work, effort, sacrifice and support of my wife and family we were denied the opportunity to participate in time honored regalia tradition of commencement event, again as a direct result of the pandemic.
 
So, as we close out this year there still remains issues, challenges, and concerns there were before us prior to the pandemic. We as a church still must navigate through or address, at the global level, how our church relates on a legal basis to LGBTQ+ persons. Final resolution of this matter may in all likelihood split our denomination into separate church entities.

The changing of ours (St. Peter’s) “church DNA,” or at a minimum a grafting of a new more modern DNA to our existing, whereby we intentionally both increase and improve our usage and application of additional social media platforms, and it’s ancillary hardware to begin to earnestly speak the language of the younger missing generations in our current church family. The inability of us to surrender or offer ourselves totally without hesitation or reservation to younger and more culturally diverse families and persons will continue to hasten our demise.

These were but a few of the critical challenges before us prior to the onslaught of covid19, and they still remain for us now, and after it recedes. It will not be easy to address these challenges, but again, no great or worthwhile accomplishments were made without great effort, hard work, dedication and discipline.

In Ecclesiastes chapter 3, we are further informed by these words concerning life’s opportunities and challenges, that to a degree are beyond our total control;
 
“I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.13 That each of them may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.”  (verse 10-13)
 
Let us pray:  LORD, God and Holy Spirit, continue to be with us, we have some tough days ahead of us as we go into this new year. We want to be an obedient church, we want to do Your will, but so often we do our will. Continue to be patience with us, giving us Your grace and love, but make us uncomfortable when we get to comfortable not doing Your will. Amen.
Christmas Eve Service
 
Everyone is invited to our festive and friendly family-themed  Christmas Eve service. There will be special music, special readings and stories, and special music from two local vocalists. This happens Christmas Eve December 24th at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Details will be sent out prior to the service. Please invite your family and friends to join us.
 

CONNECTION INFORMATION
 
Sunday 10:30A PST Service
 
(We will use the same connection information every Sunday until further notice.)
 
Please contact the church office if you have problems connecting.
 
St. Peter's is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Sunday Service - St. Peter's
 

Prayer Ministry

Your church is here for you.  The Prayer Ministry Team is regularly sent a prayer letter.  If you have prayers which you would like included in this letter please send them to dwilson2009@comcast.net or call the church office at 425-747-3210 and give Stacey your request.
Bible Study

Bible Study is resuming! Join us on Mondays at 12:00 pm. Use the following connection information:
 

 
============================
Wednesday, 1:00 pm, Zoom Conversation with Pastor Baber. Join Pastor Baber for conversation. 
 
Worship With Us Virtually

Please join us for worship online weekly! Sunday at 10:30A PT 



Please send prayer requests to Diana Wilson

Please be mindful of your pledges so we can make our financial obligations.
Please Continue Giving

It is important to remember during the current time when worship and most other church activities are on hold, that church expenses nevertheless continue. Salaries, utilities, apportionments, etc., must still be paid. If your normal giving channel is to give during worship services, we request that you continue your giving by another means during this shutdown.
 
•    Online giving is a safe, convenient way give. You can give through direct transfer from a bank account (preferred, due to lower fees), or by credit card. Such giving can be done one time or on a recurring basis and can be stopped at any time. If you want help signing up, contact Rachel Hall, our Finance Secretary. Or you can sign up yourself on the church website giving page  by scrolling down the page and selecting the GIVE button: www.stpetersumc.net

•    You can also mail a check to the church. The church has a locked mailbox and there will be someone at the church picking up regularly.

If you have any questions about these methods of giving, please contact Sue Cullor, Finance Chair.  Call Stacey at the church office for everyone’s contact information. 

  • 50 or less in worship
  • Single cell
  • Difficult to become a member, process is long term "adoption"
  • Members have a sense of belonging
  • Pastors usually not central leadership figure
  • Power source - Patriarch/Matriarch
    • Transition from family size to pastoral size
    • Power monger, influence, manipulation
  • Family Size Pastoral
    • Traditionally functions as a Chaplin
    • Traditionally pastor not center of power/influence
    • Must be able to work with gatekeepers
    • Longer pastorate makes for more powerful clergy, shorter
      stays makes for more powerful gatekeepers
    • To be effective most pastors stay 10 years or longer in family
      size churches for pastors to gain influence
St. Peter's Links

St. Peter's UMC Website

Church Calendar

Sermon Podcasts

St. Peter's Childcare Center

Contact Information


Ministry & Missions

Katherine Parker-
Missionary to Nepal


Amazon Smile

UMC Market

Pastoral Care
To contact us:
St. Peter's United Methodist Church 17222 NE 8th Street, Bellevue, WA 98008
Phone: 425-747-3210           Website:  www.stpetersumc.net          Office Hours: M-F, 9A-12P
Our Child Care Center will be closed following the Bellevue School District protocol. 

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St Peter's United Methodist Church · 17222 NE 8th Street · Bellevue, WA 98008 · USA

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