ABOUT US

WHO WE ARE

Founded in 1866, St. Paul Lutheran Church is a place where you will always be welcomed. By serving through relationships and love, St. Paul is a place 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.

PASTOR SKILLMAN
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"We love the God we cannot see by loving and serving our neighbor, who we can see."

Church Is a Celebration of LIfe

“The less dependent we are on a building for an hour on Sunday to replicate the transcendent encounter we have as we live through this life, the more we are able to understand the world as sacred, to embrace the truth that the place where we stand is always holy ground—that we are forever in the thin places if we pay attention.”

-John Pavlovitz, internet “pastor” and strident critic of all things Christian
                                   (my description, not his)

Well, John isn’t exactly wrong.
But let me offer a few counterpoints.
           Birthdays. Baptisms. Confirmations. Graduations. Engagements. Weddings.
           Christmas. Easter. Funerals. And Sunday mornings.
None of these things make life less special. All of them are transcendent moments that clue us in to just how special all of life really is. We wouldn't really want to give up all of those celebrations and observations. That wouldn't make life more special, but less. These punctiliar moments don't subtract from life. They add to it. They highlight its importance.

A birthday celebration isn't about ignoring life.
           It's a celebration of life.
A wedding isn't just about a dress and a cake.
           It's about a union of a couple for life.
A funeral isn't an escape from death.
           It's an acknowledgement of life, its fleeting nature, and a call to live now.
And Sunday morning church isn't a retreat.
           It's a reminder, a resource, and a well of reformation.
           It is a regenerative moment that propels the faithful out into the world
                       to fully embrace it.

Building for these "hours" isn't about focusing on some kind of ethereal transcendent encounter that lifts us out of life. Rather, the care that we show these moments is a model of the care we strive to show every moment.

A wedding is special because a marriage is special.
           And we crown that marriage with a party, and a dress, and a cake.
A birthday is special because a life is special.
           And we celebrate on a given day because we want to celebrate that person's life.


And Sunday morning church (or whatever other day and time you choose) is special because all of this world is special, and everyone in it. We take an hour every week not to escape from that fact, but to acknowledge it, and positively celebrate it.

 

Doing away with the celebratory moments and special observances in our lives will not make life more full. It will empty it.
Pavlovitz is literally telling you not to party.
What a buzz kill.


Ironically, if you actually followed his advice, you wouldn't read his articles. After all, what’s so special about his words? Won't setting those words apart to contemplate them cause you to neglect all the other words out there, and with them, the entirety of God's good creation? I mean, you wouldn't want to get lost in his transcendent words and miss out on life now, would you?

But, of course, that's nonsense. We set certain things apart, not because the world is unimportant. But because it is important.

The church hour isn't an escape that we should do away with. (Although if bruised people need a bit of an escape, what exactly is so wrong with that? Have you never gone to a concert, or watched a movie, or meditated for a moment? Come on.) The Church hour is one of the few places that people gather to intentionally talk, sing, and think about the things that matter most in this world, and to positively celebrate them. (weekly even!) In some traditions, the pastor is called the celebrant, for God's sake. The Church hour is a celebration of life.

Do you really want to miss out on the celebration of life?
I certainly don’t.
See you next Sunday at church. 

Our Staff
Photo Gallery
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Dale Hukill
Susan Moore
Sherrill Crawford
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Rev. Daniel Skillman - Senior Pastor
danielskillman@stpaulberea.org
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Dale Hukill - Director of Music Ministry
dhukill@stpaulberea.org
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Richard Shirey - Assistant Organist

 


Susan Moore - Director of Children's Ministry
children@stpaulberea.org
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Sherrill Crawford - Administrative Assistant

officestaff@stpaulberea.org
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Dean Firing - Administrative Assistant

officestaff@stpaulberea.org

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Lynnette Ozanich - Bookkeeper

treasurer@stpaulberea.org

Pastor Dan Skillman Installation
Pastor Dan Skillman Installation
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Pastor Skillman Installation Service
Pastor Skillman Installation Service
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Pastor Skillman & Bishop Allende
Pastor Skillman & Bishop Allende
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Pastor Skillman Blessing the Bread
Pastor Skillman Blessing the Bread
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DSC08159
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Hand Bell Processional 2018
Hand Bell Processional 2018
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Easter 2018
Easter 2018
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Choir With Brass 2018
Choir With Brass 2018
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Church from pking lot
Church from pking lot
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