“But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the nations might hear it.” – 2 Timothy 4:17
Tradition tells us that the Apostle Paul wrote these words to Timothy (a young man whom Paul was mentoring to be a pastor and evangelist) during what was arguably the lowest point in Paul’s own ministry. Imprisoned far from home for preaching the gospel, abandoned by some of his closest friends, and facing execution Paul, nevertheless, offers his testimony (his personal story of God’s presence and activity in his life) as an example of God’s faithfulness to the very end.  Paul goes on to say that, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” He said these things even while almost certainly knowing that he was about to die.

There are many people whose testimonies include miraculous answers to prayer, dramatic reversals of fortune, healings, deliverances, and surprising victories over and against impossible odds. Paul’s story includes many of these kinds of experiences, and I my prayer is that each of our own stories would include more and more of them too. I also believe that when these kinds of experiences happen we are right to share them with one another and celebrate them together.

And yet, most of the time our prayers are not answered with miracles, and for most of us our stories involve precious few if any miracles of our own. But this should not discourage us, because what we see in Paul’s words to Timothy is that the life of faith centered on Jesus rests on something far deeper than the sort of miracles which are at best only signs and samples of God’s goodness and love. Paul’s faith, and the faith that he helped to nurture in Timothy, and which has been nurtured in the lives of faithful people for generations, rests on nothing less than God’s ultimate plan and purpose for the life of the whole world which has been revealed and as good as achieved in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

What kept Paul from being discouraged during what was not only the lowest point but ultimately the closing chapter of his apostolic ministry, was not the miracles he had witnessed during his life but his faith in what God had achieved in Jesus long before Paul had even come to believe; his faith that in Jesus God has overcome sin and death so that in the end, not even death can separate us from the goodness and love of God.

I hope you can join us this Sunday as we share and celebrate all that God has done and is doing in our lives together.


Youth Update

Parents of children in Sunday School, please remember to go downstairs to pick up your child just as the music team is receiving their communion.

Messy church November 27th. Looking for lots of help. I will also need help before the day of Messy church. Lots of set up and prepping. So if you want to get involved please let me know now. The planning has begun!! It’s going to be fun!!
High school youth group – Sunday night 6:30-8:30pm at St Paul’s church in Hampton please contact Dan McMullen or myself for more information.
We are still in need of a few helpers for Sunday School and nursery.  If you could help out on one of the following dates, please contact Jessie.
Sunday School

  • Nov.13/16 – 1 person needed
  • Nov. 20/16 – 1 person needed

Nursery

  • Dec.11/16
  • Dec.18/16

Singers Wanted…
On Dec 4 there will be massed choir performance of the selection “Candle in the Window” by Sally K Albrecht.  The service will be held at the Hampton United Church.

Singers are wanted to participate in the choir.  There will be two practices Sun. Oct. 30 at 1:00pm and Sun. Nov 20 at 1:00pm

If you are interested in participating, please contact Glenna Geer at 832-5338.

2016 10 20 St Paul’s News