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Sharing God's unconditional love and promise in Jesus Christ with all people. 


Becoming known as  a progressive inclusive community of faith.

Sunday Worship 9:15 am
Tuesday Worship 4:30 pm
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34
Thank you to all who donated food items, time and money to the
Thanksgiving Community Baskets.
We were able to help 44 families in the community feeding 163 people.
Thank you for your generosity!
Do You Want the Giver?
“Do you want the Giver or the gifts?” asked my teacher. She was responding to another student’s question about not feeling anything when she prayed. 

Do you want the Giver or the gifts?

Suddenly I saw my own self-centeredness. I want what God gives, not God. But I wondered, What would it be like to desire God more than health, success, comfort, security, esteem, and the like?

Maybe asking for health, success, and so on (for yourself or others) is the only way you’ve ever known pray. After all, Jesus did say, “If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it” (John 14) and “Ask, and it will be given you” (Luke 11).

These are prayers of the first half of life: the upward journey. There is another journey, downward. Which is good news, because when you discover that you can only go so high by climbing, you will need to know there’s another way. Go down to go up. 

With this second journey, there is a second way to pray. That’s what my teacher was pointing to: prayer of surrender, silence, stillness, and simple presence. These prayers reflect what the psalmist wrote—“Be still and know that I am God.” They’re like the prayer Jesus prayed in Gethsemane—“Not my will, but yours be done.” Prayers of essence. Prayers of being with Christ in God.

Anyone who has lost a loved one to death knows what it means to want the giver and not the gifts. And whoever has experienced a “visitation” (the palpable presence of a beloved after their death in a dream, in the dark, with a chill) knows how good and healing it is. All the more with God.

The Holy Spirit teaches us how to pray and sends us other teachers. When the student is ready, the teacher emerges.

Thanks be to God.
Pastor Clark Olson-Smith

Faith Question For The Week
"Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour," said Jesus.

The scriptures for Advent go against the grain of what we want Advent to be. We want warm, comforting, familiar--a pre-Christmas, with all the feeling of listening to the Christmas station and putting up the tree and lights early and settling in.

Especially this year. It’s been, nearly universally, a hard year. We truly need rest and safety and love.

The scriptures announce the coming salvation--the love, rest and safety we need--but almost like a drill sergeant jerking us awake at o’dark thirty. In these gospel readings, there are fearful dreams, serious doubt, a shout of “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” And this week, what seems like a threat delivered as if it’s promised good news: Christ will come like a thief in the night.

Cue the hot cocoa spit-take.

Advent is bracing because it is a wake up call. “Beware!” it seems to say. “The lights and trees and silent nights can put you to sleep!”

Take these scriptures seriously and, as you do, take inventory of your holiday traditions. Are they really waking you up to greater love and justice, to taking more responsibility for yourself and the world, to finding more joy and peace? Ask Jesus, “Lord, do I need a warm bath or a cold shower?”

Reminders, News, Events
Community Christmas Sing-A-Long
Featuring St. Paul's Bell Choir

Immanuel Lutheran Church
Camanche, IA

Sunday, December 8, 2019
from 4-6 pm
Light dinner will be provided
We need your help with the Community Christmas Dinner this year. We are in need of food donations and volunteers to help with the event. Please sign up to help . Sign up sheets are availble at the the church in the back of the sanctuary. 
This year we will again collect the Music of the Coins in December. Please bring and hear your coins ring up music for ELCA World Hunger. 
Stay Connected
This weeks events at
St. Paul

Sunday, December 1
1st Sunday of Advent
Worship 9:15 am
Advent Event after Worship

Tuesday, December 3
Men's Breakfast Jenny's Diner 8:30 am
Service Committee Meeting 2:00 pm
WELCA Board Meeting 3:00 pm
Worship 4:30 pm

Wednesday, December 4
CCC Choir 4:15 pm
Hope in Action 5:00 pm
Learning Committee 5:15 pm
Tintinnabulum 5:15 pm
Vocal Choir 5:15 pm
Confirmation at Zion 5:45 pm
Adult Bells 6:15 pm

Saturday, December 7
WELCA Christmas Luncheon 10:30 am

Sunday, December 8
2nd Sunday of Advent

Worship 9:15 am

December Epistle Click Here
St. Paul's Facebook
St. Paul's Website
Here is the video link of last weeks sermon.
This Weeks Readings


This year the following Advent Devotional books will be available at the church:
"Let the Heavens be Glad"
"Wonders of His Love"
"Hope-Full Living"
"His Name is Jesus"
"Arise and Shine"
"Lighten Up for Advent"
Copyright © 2018| Saint Paul Lutheran Church, All rights reserved.
Weekly Newsletter

Our mailing address is:
713 S Third Street, Clinton, IA 52732
Summer Church Office Hours are Monday-Thursday 8-1

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St. Paul Lutheran Chuch · 715 S 3rd St · Clinton, IA 52732-4312 · USA

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