Pastor’s Page

August 2018

REFLECTIONS FROM PASTOR AMY JO

Growing Forward: The Healthy Church Initiative

During 2018, St. Paul’s UMC has been participating in the Healthy Church Initiative (HCI).  Healthy Church Initiative (HCI) is an all congregation strategic process, helping already healthy congregations move toward increased vitality and increased growth.  We began this process by praying for the life and health of the Church. I encourage you to continue praying the breakthrough prayer with which we began, and using your 3- minute timer to remind you to take a break and pause to pray daily.

God of new life, pour out your Holy Spirit on us and do a new thing at Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church. Breakthrough our human limitations and lead us into a new season of faithfulness and fruitfulness. Transform us into your image, so that new people will come to know you through us.  Open our hearts to new inspiration. Open our lips to sing your praise. Open our eyes to see your image in our neighbors and new visions of justice, peace, and hope in our community. Open our hands to go, serve and share. Open our minds to your wisdom and guidance. Open our doors to receive new people in your love.   Amen.

During the next part of the HCI process, St. Paul’s HCI leadership team participated in training workshops to provide us with more information on prayer, reaching out to others, church leadership, and hospitality. We also have completed a detailed self-study of the community of Mendota Heights and our congregation, to help us understand who we are as a church community and who we are serving in Mendota Heights.  Our final steps in the HCI process will be for the HCI leadership team, Church Council, and a small focus group from the congregation to have a preparation meeting with the consultants on Thursday, October 4th, 5:00-8:00 pm.  (dinner provided.) Please contact the church office if you have an interest in being part of the focus group that evening.

Then, we will complete our process with the HCI consultation weekend on November 9th-11th. The HCI consultation weekend will be key to helping St. Paul’s UMC in Growing Forward. 

On Friday, November 9, the consultants will interview a group of staff and leaders from the congregation. On Saturday morning, November 10, there will be an all-church meeting with the consultants to discuss God’s dream for our congregation, and on Sunday, November 11, the consultants will worship with us and deliver their report of five strengths of our congregation and five prescriptions for healthy change. Please mark your calendars to be part of the all-congregation meeting on Saturday morning, November 10.

I believe that God has an amazing plan for the health and growth of the Church universal and St. Paul’s UMC specifically.  Keep on praying!

Kid’s Breakthrough Prayer:
Dear God,
Bless our church in a new way
Help us be like Jesus every day.
Open our minds and hearts to learn
Open our lips to praise, and our hands to serve
Open our eyes to see the people you love
And welcome them in, to be here with us.
Amen.


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