WHO WE ARE
Founded in 1866, St. Paul Berea, ELCA is a place where you will always be welcomed. By serving through relationships and love, St. Paul Berea is a space where everyone can grow spiritually.
WHAT WE DO
Our mission is “To know and serve Christ by reaching out in love to all” and we believe in the importance of involving and experiencing God in all areas of your life. There are countless ways to grow in your involvement and your faith at St. Paul; regardless of where you are in your journey, there is a place for you here.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Members and first time guests alike, we invite you to get connected to the community. Whether you're attending service on a Sunday, dropping in on a small group meeting, or stopping by to chat with Pastor Dan, you can anticipate a positive, encouraging experience.
"We love the God we cannot see by loving and serving our neighbor, who we can see."
Lent and Coronavirus
Lent is a time when the Church reflects on the many sacrifices that Jesus made for his people, and we consider the sacrifices we are called by his example to make for each other. It isn’t easy. Giving alms never is.
While there are exceedingly generous people out there, most of us tend to be a bit stingy. And when things get scarce, a lot of us turn into genuine hoarders. Doubt it? Have you gone out looking for toilet paper and hand sanitizer in your local stores? Perhaps you’ve noticed completely empty shelves. More people than we’d like to admit are responding to this Coronavirus outbreak with selfishness.
The ancient Lenten practices of prayer and fasting can help.
Whether you planned to fast or not, you’re fasting now. Some people like to make fun of fasting, as if it were simply a silly relic of the past. Others mock fasting by asserting what they call their “Christian freedom.” But none of that matters now. The universe has spoken. We’re all fasting from something today.
Maybe we have enough food. More than enough, likely. But we’re all being forced to fast. Some of us are fasting from going into our place of business. Some of us are fasting from going to shows, movies, or concerts. Most of us are fasting from seeing as many people as we’d like.
This time of forced fasting can be a time of deep spiritual reflection. When what we like is stripped away, that which is truly important comes into focus. Are you discovering what’s truly important yet? Don’t forget that lesson when things return to normal.
In the meantime, many of you will have some extra time on your hands (though, some of you will be working more than ever). Might I suggest that you use at least some of that time to pray. In your time of prayer, you might reflect again on those lessons that this forced fast is teaching you. As you pray for what you need, consider that your neighbor very likely needs those same things. Remember that when things return to normal.
If you remember the lessons that you’re learning now, you may very well find giving alms to be easier on the other side of this Coronavirus outbreak. Having “gone hungry” yourself, you might be more sympathetic to those who “go hungry” every day in thousands of ways all around you.
We have not been able to gather together as a church this Lent. Maybe this will turn out to have been a good thing. Maybe we will learn more this Lent through this forced fast and isolation than we ever could have learned had we met as usual. If that’s the outcome, then, one day, we will thank God even for this moment. Perhaps we do not even need to wait to offer our thanksgiving.
Stay safe out there,
Rev. Daniel Skillman - Senior Pastor
Dale Hukill - Director of Music Ministry
Richard Shirey - Assistant Organist
Susan Moore - Director of Children's Ministry
Barbara Tibbitts - Worship Leader
Linda Forster - Children/Cherub Choirs
Sherrill Crawford and Dean Firing
Lynnette Ozanich - Bookkeeper
Gail Brandt - Nursery Care Provider