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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. 
The 2020 Annual Congregation Meeting is
Sunday, January 26, 2020 after worship
Paths of Growth
Many Christians are stunted in this growth. It’s not their fault, but it’s true. Many are simply unaware that this transformation is the great living tradition. Some go looking for it in other experiences or other religions, while others settle for a rote and static Christianity. Other Christians are stuck arguing about whose words, worship, and way of serving are the best. This is the old, dividing, superiority-game-playing self at work.

A starting point for all of us is this: accepting that we are accepted, fully. The world is soaked with Christ, you included. If you were excluded, Christ would neither be universal nor the reuniting Word made flesh. All must mean truly all, or it means nothing. God loves things by becoming them, uniting with them, not excluding them.

Coming to trust this for you is a lifelong journey of transformation. Jesus’ call to “Follow me” and to “Carry the cross” is to accept our disbelief and rebellion and failure as fully as Christ does, and more to accept others as well. 

This is where the rubber hits the road. It’s the healing miracle—the Lord opening the eyes of our heart—that can only be accomplished through prayer. 
Faith Question For The Week
“Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee.”

“Two steps forward and one step back,” we say, often out of frustration even disgust. But the truth is, backward is the way forward. We have to go down to go up. Death is the way to life.

That’s the message of the cross of Jesus. It’s also how Jesus’ ministry started. With a big step backward. Jesus withdrew. He backed up, slowed down, disengaged.

You’d think we would get the message since it’s plain to see in the gospel, from beginning to end. But we remain people of endless progress, perpetual growth. We demand it from our economy, our children, even ourselves. We can be quite disoriented, shocked, and unkind when life doesn’t play along. 

And yet, even there in this step backward, God does God’s best work within and through us. One step backward and two steps forward is God’s rhythm of salvation. It’s heaven’s dance step. And when Jesus says, “Follow me,” he means to lead us deep into darkness on the way to great light. 

Suffering is just part of the deal. And Jesus, by his own suffering, reveals what we could never see on our own. There is nothing inherently good about suffering and death. But God made even them dance to heaven’s music of healing, grace, and life. 

Withdraw now with Jesus. Ask Jesus for help trusting the backward steps. Remember what steps forward were made possible by the backward steps in your life.
Reminder, News, Events
Starting in January 2020 our winter bible study for the Women of ELCA will be
"All are Called"
All are welcomed to join this bible study. 
Lydia Group will meet on January 11, 2020 at Jenny's Diner at 9:00 am
Bible Study will follow at 10:00 am at the church. 
Lesson study is being led by Barb Larson
Stay Connected
This weeks events at
St. Paul

Sunday, January 26
Worship 9:15 am
Annual Congregation Meeting after worship
Community Meal 5:30 pm

Tuesday, January 28
Worship 4:30 pm

Wednesday, January 29
CCC Choir 4:15 pm
Tintinnabulum 5:15 pm
Vocal Choir 5:15 pm
Confirmation at Zion 5:45 pm
Adult Bells 6:15 pm

Sunday, February 2
Worship 9:15 am

January Epistle Click Here
Click here for January 19, 2020 Worship
This Weeks Readings


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

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