2007-12 Journal Entries

This page contains occasional entries about St Paul UMC, Methodism, or Christianity in general. Check back here for newly posted entries.

Community Food Coop – July: With the warmer weather, we have decided to try distributing the food from the back of a pickup truck out in front of the church. Quick and easy and you barely have to get out of your car. The next pick up is July 21st, from 9:30 to 10 a.m.

Community Food Coop at St Paul, May 2, 2012: St. Paul is serving as a distribution site for the https://thecommunitycoop.org/ . We are only doing the second distribution of the month which is delivered on the third Saturday from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. (note the new time.) If there is sufficient interest (volunteers), we could do the first Saturday as well. Many of the same local foods that were offered by the Crossroads Food Coop are back, along with some delicious new products. Prices are comparable and items are delivered to St. Paul already boxed up for delivery. If you have been interested in trying the coop and getting a good deal on your food, click on the link above and give it a try.

A Wesleyan Sermon, Sunday, April 22, 2012 – 5:30pm: Sunday Evening Recital Series, First United Methodist Church, 203 South 200 East, Salt Lake City, Sunday, April 22, 2012 – 5:30pm, Sotto Voce will perform sacred music of Tallis, Viadana, Rutter and more. Pastor Carol Loftin will read a sermon by John Wesley – the founder of Methodism.

Childrens Sermon, Feb 25, 2012:

Food Coop at St. Paul, March 1, 2012: Last month was the last month for the Crossroads Food Coop. It was discontinued after several years when they were unable to break even financially and decided they could no longer subsidize the Food Coop at the expense of their main charitable mission. More recently, the Coop has been revived and is being restarting under new management. St. Paul is looking at being a distribution site for the new Food Coop. More information is available in the March St. Paul Newsletter in this website.

Farewell to Seventh Day Adventists, Dec 31, 2011 – We recently received a letter from the pastor of the Seventh Day Adventist congregation that has been renting our church for the last four years. As of February of 2012 they will be moving to a new location in Midvale, Utah. We wish them well on this new chapter of their ministry to the people of Utah.

Bag Story: – December 7, 2011: Gave one away today in Sugarhouse to a fellow standing on the sidewalk by the exit from the shopping center parking lot. That is about 5 or 6 bags in the last couple of months in several locations around town. We are making several hundred bags to distibute to people that come to the concerts listed below.

Saturday, December 24 – 7:00 p.m. – Christmas Eve Candlelight Service with Sotto Voce. All are welcome. Join us for an evening of music and readings. Light refreshments to follow.

Saturday, December 24 – 10:00-11:00a.m. Tune in to KSL Radio (1160AM or 102.7 FM) “Sing with Santa.” This yearly show allows children to call and talk with Santa, and Sotto Voce provides the music.

Sunday, December 17 – 7:00 p.m. at St. Paul UMC. Christ UMC’s Wesley Bell Ringers’ concert to benefit Family Promise. Light refreshments to follow.

Saturday, December 10 – 7:00 p.m. at St. Paul UMC. Sotto Voce’s Annual Benefit Concert for Cubby’s Cause for Paws, the largest donor of pet food to the Utah AIDS Food Bank. This program provides pet food for the AIDS patients who sometimes have to decide between feeding their pets and paying for their own medical expenses. This year, AIDS assistance programs have been cut drastically, so the need is greater this year than any other year. Any donations, no matter how small, are greatly appreciated.

The Journey: A Season of Reflections, By Adam Hamilton We will use this Advent Study in place of sermons during the Advent Season, November 27th, through Christmas Eve with the final session on the Holy Land, Christmas Sunday, December 25th

Dave Ramsey Sermon Series in October, October 4, 2011: We have gotten four videos produced by Dave Ramsey of Financial Peace and Foxnews fame. As you might expect, they have to do with personal financial planning from a Biblical perspective. We will be showing these videos as the sermon for three Sundays in October, with the fourth one on Stewardship Sunday, November 6. If you are a fan of Dave Ramsey, as we are, then don’t miss this chance to hear him speak on the current economic conditions, personal finance, reducing debt, and increasing giving.

Financial Peace University is coming to St. Paul UMC September 5, 2011 is the first preview class, starting at 6:30 p.m. The classes start on Monday, September, 19, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. Before each class, we will have a light meal. Hosted by Sam and Carol Loftin, and Afton and Bob Bebecki.

Bag Story: – July 27, 2011: Were at Wendy’s. They were standing at the end of the drive thru exit. I gave them each a bag and they were very happy to get it. The sign they held said, “stranded and hungry” It was perfect. Thank you for the idea and the supplies.

St Paul UMC has a new address – July, 2011: No, the church hasn’t moved. We are still on the same corner of Hillcrest Street in Copperton. However, our address has changed, as have all the addresses in Copperton. Salt Lake County has aligned Copperton addresses to the county wide grid to make it easier to find the right address when emergencies arise. So what used to be 410 East on Hillcrest is now 8601 West Hillcrest.

July 24th BBQ: Come join us for our July 24 BBQ at 12:00, better yet, join us for worship at 11:00.

Bag Story: “I gave three bags today!” – April 8, 2011: On 4th so and 7th east where the shopping center and food places. A man was panhandling with his two children. The sign read, “I need help any money for my kids and me”? I gave him the three bags and his two children were by the side of the building staying dry while he held his sign. He was really excited and the kids were too. Great thing – thanks.

Food Bags – January 16, 2011: Back before Christmas, Pastor Carol got the idea to put together small bags of food and water and give them out to congregation members. She tells about it in our January, 2011 newletter . The people in our congregation that gave out the bags to persons in need reported back about the blessings they received from giving and the thanks they received from the persons receiving the food bags. Everyone agreed that it was a good program, so after worship on January 30th, we plan to get together and make a whole bunch more bags for the congregation to give out.

Children’s Christmas Program – December 12, 2010: In the six years I have been at St. Paul UMC, this is the first Christmas that we have had a children’s program, so I had to get a picture of it on our blog. The children sang “Away in the Manger” accompanied on the violin by Genevieve, and directed by Afton. From left to right, the children are Savannah, Damien, Delilah, Phaedra, Teghan, Kayla, and Genevieve.

Holiday Activities at St. Paul – November 13, 2010: St. Paul is planning several great events in November and December and we hope you will be a part of them. They include:

  • Our annual Church Conference will be Sunday, November 28, 2010 after church around noon. We will have a potluck lunch before the meeting. If you are a member or friend of St. Paul UMC, please come and participate in the meeting. This is the most important of our business meetings.
  • The annual fundraising lunch and bazaar during the Yengich 5k Fun Run, December 4, starting about 11 a.m. We are planning new menu items for lunch and more varied items for sale this year. Please come and support our church and the Fun Run. It is a great cause!
  • The Wesley Bell Ringers in concert, Sunday, December 12, at 7:00 p.m. Fundraising proceeds will go toward a new church start in the southwestern part of the Salt Lake Valley. If you haven’t heard the Bell Ringers perform then you are in for a treat. If you have heard them, then you know what a treat it is!
  • Sotto Voce in Concert, Friday, December 17, at 7:00 p.m. Fundraising proceeds will go toward Cubby Paws for Cause pet charity. Sotto Voce sings sacred music that will bring a tear to your eye, and help you to feel the love that is the basis of the holiday season.
  • St. Paul Christmas Eve Candle Lighting Service will be on Friday, December 24th, at 7:00 p.m. As in past years, Sotto Voce will be leading the music with traditional sacred Carols and music – including Silent Night sung in the dark with candlelight. Don’t miss this – it is an excellent way to get the true meaning of Christmas, and set the tone for your Holiday festivities.
  • Please see the church newsletter for more upcoming opportunities.

Celebration! Sept 12, 2010: Pastor Carol has been at St. Paul UMC for six years now, so the congregation threw here a surprise party on Sunday, September 12th. People came up and told the congregation what her ministry has meant to them. The acapella group Sotto Voce sang songs. She was also presented with a commemorative clock with an engraved plaque. Afterwards, we had (you guessed it!) a potluck meal and barbeque on the new grill that members donated to the church. Here’s to six more years at St. Paul!

Church Upgrades – August 7, 2010: This summer has been a busy time at St. Paul with several building remodeling an upgrade projects completed, and work still going on. We replaced all the windows in the church, upstairs and down, with new double pane, vinyl windows. They really make a difference in the church appearance, and let in a lot more light. If you haven’t been by the church in a while, come take a look. Other projects are a complete rebuild and painting of the gazebo, removal of the old juniper bushes flanking the front steps and replacement with flowers and bushes, remodeling and painting the front entryway and stairs to the basement. Also in progress is the repainting of the kitchen and more touch up painting of the foundation outside and around the windows upstairs. Lastly, the ugly old ceiling above the altar area has been rebuilt and new lighting installed. It is a joy to see how much nicer our building looks with the upgrades. We would like to thank Ron and Susan Ivie for the construction work, and Steve Jones for the landscaping and painting work. And, of course, all the members of St Paul UMC whose work and generous contributions make all of this possible.

New Worship Time – June 27, 2010: Starting Sunday, June 27, 2010 St. Paul’s Sunday worship schedule will be returning to its traditional time of 11:00 a.m. for Worship, 10:00 a.m. for Bible Study. and noon for our lunch and refreshment time.

Child Care! – May 23, 2010 We now have a young lady who is trained and certified in child care to take care of the children too small to sit through a church service. Our young mothers are thankful for the rest!

Wildlife at the Church – May 23, 2010 Ron and Susan, who are doing remodeling and upgrades to the church building, snapped these pictures the other day. We love to see the wildlife that lives around the church – even though Copperton residents sometimes complain about the deer eating everything in their yards.

Easter Sunday – April 4, 2010 Easter services will be at 1:30 p.m April 4th. Good Friday Service at 7 p.m. on April 2nd. Hope to see you there!

Funny Church Sign: April 4, 2010

(There are three churches in Copperton – St. Paul’s UMC, an LDS ward, and a Catholic parish. The Catholics and LDS denominations sometimes have had the reputation of thinking themselves the “one true church”. Most Methodists on the other hand would believe that belonging to our denomination is not the only route to salvation. One of our members suggested a sign outside our building to advertize the difference. A sign on the website is cheaper, however, and is less likely to offend anyone from the other churches, who we really do like, theological difference aside.)

Pie Social, February 15, 2010: Our annual Pie Social is Monday, February 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the church basement. Every year we serve pie to anyone in the community that wants to come by and have a piece. This year we are also taking the opportunity to display art and crafts by local artists. Come by and have some pie and spend some time socializing!

Sanctuary Decorated for Christmas, January 1, 2010: Here are a couple of photos of the decorated sanctuary:

December Activities at St Paul, November 27, 2009: We have several upcoming activities in December that we want to make you aware of. They are

  • December 5: Our annual lunch, bazaar, and bake sale in conjunction with the Yengich 5K Fun Run. We start serving lunch around 11 a.m.
  • December 13: The Wesley Bell Ringers from Christ UMC will be performing again this year. This is a Sunday evening at 7 p.m. This is a fund raiser for Family Promise and new church window.
  • December 18: Sotto Voce is performing a Carol service (carol singing and Christmas story readings) at 7:00 p.m. on a Saturday evening. This is a fundraiser for the Cubby Paws pet supply collection.
  • Christmas Eve, December 24: This year we will be having a joint candle lighting service with Centenary UMC, 1740 S. 500 East. at 7:00 p.m.

Please put one or all of these events in your planner and plan to spend some time on the Christmas activities that matter.

New Sunday Worship times at St. Paul UMC, November 1, 2009: As of Sunday, November 1, our worship times have changed. We will now worship at 1:30 p.m. with fellowship afterwards. Bible study class will be at 12:30 p.m.

Pastor Carol is starting as the pastor at Centenary UMC in Salt Lake City on November 1, and the Sunday worship times had to be rearranged so that she could do Centenary and St. Paul and make the 45 minute drive between them. We hope you will remember the times and visit us soon!

Family Promise Fundraising Breakfast, October 21, 2009 We will be there. Hope you will be too!

Local Pastor Receives Award, June 29, 2009: Carol Loftin is a Local Pastor at St. Paul’s UMC in Copperton, UT, was awarded the Western Area Power Administration’s highest honor at a ceremony June 29 at Western’s Colorado River Storage Project Management Center in Salt Lake City. Western’s Administrator Tim Meeks presented Loftin with the Exceptional Service Award during the ceremony. “Our employees make up the heart and soul of our organization and are the key to our success,” said Meeks. “Employees like Carol inspire us through their outstanding contributions, commitment and service. I appreciate her strong work ethic, persistence, determination and dedication to helping us succeed.” Read the whole press release here: http://rmcumc.org/rmc/news/358-local-pastor-receives-award.html

Consecration of UMCOR Depot: Featured in Salt Lake Tribune The Faith section of the Salt Lake Tribune (http://www.sltrib.com/faith) recently featured the opening of the UM Committee on Relief (UMCOR) depot in Salt Lake City: “United Methodists have a long history of relieving suffering worldwide, a tradition that began in the wake of World War II. Now, they’ll be doing the work from Salt Lake City,” wrote Kristen Moulton of The Salt Lake Tribune, in a story about the recent consecration of the UMCOR West Office and Depot in Salt Lake City. Photos of Brian Diggs, new director of the center, are featured. “It’s not maybe as glamorous as going to a third-world country and building a health clinic, but it has the same effect,” said Diggs, who will end a 10-year stint as pastor of First UMC downtown to run the depot full time in July. “One of the hallmark strengths of Methodism is reaching out to those in need. Our goal is to be booked year-round and have people from all over the country come and do mission work here,” said Diggs.

Peck Wedding, June 9, 2009: St Paul recently hosted the wedding of the Pecks. Since we always like to show pictures of weddings, here is a photo.

Dark Matter, May 27, 2009: A couple of years back (June, 2006, to be exact), a movie company used St. Paul UMC as a shooting location for filming. I put information in our Journal about that here (scroll down to the June 10, 2006 entry). Anyway, the movie – Dark Matter – has finally been released on DVD and is available to rent or purchase. Here is the link to the entry in the IMDB movie database.

There are several scenes in the movie that show St. Paul and the surrounding area, as well as other locations in the Salt Lake Valley. There is even a very quick glimpse of some church members who served as extras, and St. Paul and Pastor Carol are credited in the movie credits. We love to show our little church off, especially in movies and TV, so it is a special treat to see it up on the silver screen, so to speak. If you plan to rent the DVD, be warned that it is rated R for some language, sexual content, and violence.

Crossroads Food Coop Distribution Site at St. Paul, February 28, 2008: I realize that I have not posted any information about the Food Coop in the Journal. We have served as a distribution site for the Crossroads Urban Center Food Coop network since the first of the year. Our second distribution Saturday was February 21, and we had a couple more households participate compared to our first month in January. We are hoping that this effort will attract more households in the coming month as word gets around Copperton and surrounding areas.

The food coop is a project of Crossroads Urban Center in Salt Lake and serves the Wasatch Front area of northern Utah as a source of low cost, nutritious food. Their website is located here http://www.crossroads-u-c.org/cfc/index.html and has all the information you need to learn more about the coop and to place an order. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that you should put the delivery location on your order as St. Paul United Methodist Church or St. Paul Copperton, or else you order might be delivered to St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church in Holladay instead. The names are pretty close and it happened to one person last month.

The food coop relies on people volunteering their time to help with the packing and distribution, so be prepared to spend an hour or two helping each month. The website has all the information and contacts you need to get involved.

UMCOR Depot in Salt Lake, January 27, 2009: Three representatives from the UMCOR were in town to select the director of the UMCOR western storage depot that is being established in Salt Lake City. The representatives met with interested UMC clergy and lay members the evening of 1/27 at First UMC to update us on the status of the warehouse and to answer any questions.

The warehouse is located in three units that are located adjacent to the current Crossroads Urban Center Food Co-op warehouse located at 1470 South 700 West. The warehouse space is being prepared for use with painting, minor electrical, phone, internet, etc. and should be ready for occupancy shortly. No date was given for a grand opening as they prefer to wait until there are supplies in the warehouse before opening it to the public. Salt Lake City was selected for the depot due to its central location in the western US, and transportation links to west coast ports that can transport supplies to Asia and the Pacific area. The depot will supplement the existing UMCOR Sager-Brown Depot in Baldwin, Louisiana.

They expect to hire the director this week, and that person will begin work as soon as possible. At first, the director will be the only paid employee, with the remainder of the workers being volunteers. The depot will work closely with Crossroads Food Co-op staff, sharing resources as needed. They plan to begin publicizing the depot and will put up signs soon.

One of the UMCOR representatives is the director of the Sager-Brown depot. She spoke about how the existing warehouse works, taking in supplies, processing them, and shipping them to locations where requested. She expects that the western depot in Salt Lake will operate in a similar manner. The Sager-Brown depot deals primarily with three “products” – cleaning buckets, health kits, and school kits – and they shipped over 100,000 of them last year all around the world.

Cleaning buckets are buckets filled with cleaning supplies for use after a hurricane, flood, or other disaster. Due to the weight of the cleaning supplies, it is impractical to ship them overseas, so they mainly are delivered within the USA.
Health kits contain personal hygiene items for use by persons who have lost their homes or who have been relocated to shelters or refugee camps. The kit items conform to the guidelines established by Church World Services for health kits.

School kits are cloth bags filled with school supplies – paper, pencils, and so on. These are given to children who have no school supplies. Often, a school kit may be the only thing that a child can call their own, and they are a very popular item in refugee camps.

Most health kits and school bags are sent overseas and must be checked at the depot to make sure they conform to CWS guidelines and customs requirements of the various countries where they are shipped. The kits are assembled at local churches, with members donating the supplies. The completed kits are then delivered to the warehouse. At the warehouse each kit it checked by a volunteer, and any items added or replaced as needed. Usually, the warehouse supplies the toothpaste for the health kit because the toothpaste needs to have a expiration date at least one year after the kit is shipped from the depot, and often the donated toothpaste will not meet this requirement.

The depot will have quantities of these supplies on hand to insert into the kits, and will have items taken from kits that will be used locally. Crossroads Urban Center was mentioned as a possible organization to use items that are unsuitable for the kits. The Sager-Brown depot also have a sewing room where volunteers sew the bags for the school kits using donated cloth.

In addition to the items described above, the warehouse also houses supplies for disaster response and recovery. The representatives solicited ideas from those attending about what supplies would be good to stock. Sager-Brown deals mostly in supplies to respond to hurricanes, flooding, and tornados, but they anticipate a need for supplies to respond to earthquakes and wild fires in our part of the country. They also may stock other supplies, and have learned that clothing donations are rarely useful.

As mentioned earlier, the Salt Lake depot will make heavy use of volunteer labor for administrative tasks, and local churches were encouraged to identify persons that could volunteer there. They anticipate that the depot will attract volunteers from outside our area, youth groups and mission work teams, that will come in for a few days or a week to work at the depot. They believe that the local amenities such as skiing and the proximity to national parks will attract groups looking for volunteer opportunities. Local churches were encouraged to think of ways to house and feed these volunteers, since unlike Sager-Brown, there are no dorm or food facilities associated with the Salt Lake depot.

The UMCOR representatives had toured the LDS welfare and humanitarian facilities and had established contact with people there. They commented that the health kits they saw there were very similar to those we make, and felt that there were many opportunities for collaboration. I mentioned my involvement with the Utah VOAD, and suggested that the new director become involved with the group.

Sotto Voce to sing on KSL radio, Christmas Eve Sotto Voce, who will be singing at our Christmas Eve service at 7:00 p.m., will also be performing live on KSL radio’s Doug Wright show at about 10:30 or 11:00 a.m.

Once in Royal David’s City, at St Paul’s (London): December 20, 2008

Nativity Set, December 16, 2008: It continues to amaze me how blessed we are here at St. Paul. Here is an example: During the Wesley Bell Ringers concert last Sunday night, Pastor Carol was talking with some of the guests and joking about the nativity set(s) we have out on display in the sanctuary. When we decorated the sanctuary for Christmas a few weeks ago, we hauled out our two ancient nativity sets from the storage room and set them on the piano. Between the two sets, there were enough 3 inch high figurines to make one decent grouping. The two “stables” were set next to each other and the collected figurines arranged between.

One of the guests, Cathy Perryman, offered us a nativity set that she had. When she brought it over to the house, we were amazed at how large and beautiful it was compared to our current sets. Many thanks to Cathy for her generosity.

Results of Fun Run, Bakesale, and Bazaar, December 16, 2008: I just remembered that I haven’t posted the results of the Fun Run, Bakesale, and Bazaar St Paul hosted the first Saturday of December. This is our primary fundraising event each year at St. Paul, so we are pleased with the results this year as we raised over $1200. This year the weather cooperated with sunny and (relatively) warm weather, and a good crowd showed up to eat chili and sloppy joes, and buy the baked goods, crafts, and auction items. Many thanks to the Yengich family for organizing the Fun Run each December, and allowing St. Paul to serve the runners and their friends and family.

Fundraising Concerts, December 13 and 14, 2008: St Paul hosted two fundraising concerts last weekend – Sotto Voce on Saturday night, and The Wesley Bell Ringers on Sunday night – and both concerts were a complete success. On Saturday night, Sotto Voce led the audience in a program of Christmas music featuring their masterful acapella singing, beautiful piano playing, audience participation of some familiar carols, and several poems and readings. Money and pet supplies were accepted to benefit Cubby’s Cause for Paws, and totaled $177.11 in cash and a pickup load of supplies.

On Sunday night, the Wesley Bell Ringers from Christ UMC in Salt Lake hosted a concert of sacred and secular Christmas music. The sound of these 20 or so high school aged young men and women ringing over 200 different types and sizes of bells is truly a treat to hear. Money donated in the offering totaled $419.51 and will be donated to Crossroads Urban Center, and Family Promise, both in Salt Lake.

I hope to post some pictures of the concerts if I can find someone who was taking pictures. Until then, enjoy the video below.

Il Divo singing Amazing Grace, December 16, 2008.

All Saints Day, November 1, 2008: All Saints Day is November 1st every year, always the day after Halloween. That is because Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, is the day before All Saints or All Hallows Day. In the United Methodist Church, All Saint’s Day is on the first Sunday in November. It is held to remember all those that have passed away from the local church congregation. A common tradition is that a candle is lit by the Acolyte as each person’s name is called out. Then, a liturgical prayer is offered for each soul in Heaven.

A more detailed description of All Saints Day is available here on the Wikipedia website.

The November newsletter is now on our website: So click hereto see it. We are pleased to announce that this year St. Paul will again be hosting the Wesley Bell Ringers handbell choir Sunday, December 14th.. They did an excellent concert last year at St. Paul and we are hoping to see an even better turnout for this year’s concert. Any money collected at the concert will be split, half going to defray the equipment and travel costs of the Bell Ringers, and the other half going to Crossroads Urban Center for their ministry to those in need. Please mark your calendar now and plan on attending!

Upcoming Events in December: They haven’t shown up in the Paul’s Notes newletter yet, but I want to get them on the site so people can put the dates on their calendars.

  • All Church Conference: The annual church conference is set for Sunday. December 14, at 12:15 p.m., right after worship. This is the all-church conference where we go over the business aspects of running the church and vote on budgets and the pastor’s salary. Please attend so your ideas and voice can be heard.
  • Sotto Voce Benefit Concert and Fundraiser: Sotto Voce is again performing a benefit concert to raise money for the Cubby Paws pet charity. The concert will be Saturday, December 13, in the evening. The exact starting time will be announced later. This is a great chance to hear the always entertaining acapella group Sotto Voce perform Christmas music while raising money to help care for the pets of local AIDS sufferers.
  • Christmas Eve: In addition to the concert above, Sotto Voce has agreed to also perform at the Christmas Eve candlelighting service at St. Paul. Again, the time has not been set, but should be in the early evening.

Family Portraits, August 28, 2008: We recently had a photographer come to St. Paul to take pictures of congregation members. I took four of the portraits and another picture to post on our site:

The four portraits are by www.andersonphotographyservices.com, so if you like their work, please let them know.

Pace Wedding, July 10, 2008: Pastor Carol performed the wedding ceremony for Clayton and Komej Pace on the evening of July 10 at St. Paul. We received a nice thank you note from them that I had to share. Thank you for your wonderful note, and congratulations!

 

A You Tube Video of Alison Krauss singing “A Living Prayer”: Just because . . .

Rocky Mountain United Methodist Annual Conference, June 24, 2008: It must be June because the annual church conference takes place this month. The UMC is broken into geographical regions called conferences, and each year the conference holds a conference where clergy and lay representatives meet to discuss and vote on business and policy matters. This year’s meeting was held in Denver, where most of them are held. The Rocky Mountain Conference covers the entire states of Colorado and Utah, and the lower half of Wyoming, and most of the largest churches are located in the Front Range communities of Colorado. In contrast, out here in Utah United Methodists are much sparser in number, so we end up traveling to Denver for the conference. The website for the conference is http://www.rmcumc.org/ , and you can visit the link to find out more about the conference and the conference.

United Methodist General Conference, April 26, 2008: Once every four years the United Methodist Church has a denomination-wide conference called General Conference. Delegates from all over the world convene in one location to do the policy and legislative work of the church. I bring this up because it is going on at the moment in Fort Worth, Texas.

Unlike some other denominations, United Methodists do not have one, or even several persons in charge of making policy and theology. The thousand or so delegates to the General Conference, composed of equal numbers of clergypersons and lay persons, make the theological and policy decisions in much the same way as a legislature makes laws – by debating, lobbying, and voting. Because of the importance of the decisions that affect United Methodists world wide, the Conference is subject to a lot of scrutiny by interested members and others in the Christian community. It even occasionally attracts the attention of the news media, especially when the Conference deals with hot button issues like, say, gay marriage. If you would like to find out what is going on at General Conference, please click on this link to access the General Conference web site.

Josh Groban – Ave Maria, March 30, 2008

Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008: St Paul UMC is honored to welcome Sotto Voce, the acapella quartet, to be a part of our Easter worship service at 11:00 am. If you have heard Sotto Voce sing, you know what a treat is it. Don’t miss the chance to hear them sing and to worship the risen Christ!

Good Friday, March 21, 2008: St Paul will have a Good Friday service at 7:30 p.m. The service will feature Scripture readings of the lasst words of Christ before he died, and a selection of traditional Good Friday hymns. Please join us to remember the crucifixion of our Savior.

Crusader, March 16, 2008: Last Sunday, St. Paul hosted a representative from the Campus Crusade for Christ http://utahcru.com/ She told the congregation about the work they are doing at Utah colleges and universities as well as around the country.

I’ve got Photos (Part 3) , January 21, 2008: Here are ten pictures taken at the Sotto Voce and Wesley Bell Ringers concerts back around Christmas. For more info on the concerts, just scroll down the page some.

I’ve got Photos (Part 2) , January 21, 2008: It took a snowy Martin Luther King jr. holiday to give me time to do some more photos for the Journal. Here are three from Wayne and Iris’s wedding back at the end of July. (Yes, it has been that long.)
I’ve got Photos, January 7, 2008: I have been meaning to put some photos on the web site showing the various goings on here at St. Paul, but have never found time until now. The first three photos show the plumbers replacing the water pipes in the basement. You may recall my Journal entry from last summer about our pipes breaking and flooding the basement (see Disaster Strikes, June 3, 2007: below). We decided to replace all the exposed water piping to prevent a repeat. (Most of the water piping was originally installed on the walls rather than in the walls.) After some generous donations by members and friends, we got the nice fellows at Dave Passey Plumbing to do the job in October.

Also in October, Pastor Carol performed the wedding of Eric and Katie at a reception center in Draper. The bottom two photos show Carol performing the wedding ceremony and being escorted by the father of the groom. Belated congratulations to the bride and groom and their families.

Christmas in Copperton, December 17, 2007: I mentioned the Christmas in Copperton celebration below in conjunction with the other activities at St. Paul in December. I just got a link to the website of Anderson Photographic Services. David Anderson took photographs of the celebration and the decorations that Copperton residents put in their yards and on their houses this Christmas, and posted them here. He is selling copies of the pictures if you are interested. I noticed two pictures of Pastor Carol.

From the website: “On December 17, 2007, Copperton had its second annual Christmas celebration. All 3 churches joined together to make this a festive event. The children performed the Nativity play, and we remembered our veterans with Russell Ray introducing the veterans that were there with us. We heard some of the history of Copperton, and Rob Lannie wrote and sang a song called “Copperton, My Hometown”. It was most inspiring. There were lots of tasty goodies afterwards. At 8:15 PM the National Guard did a fly over with their helicopter.”

Epiphany, January 6: Epiphany, meaning ‘appearance’ or ‘manifestation’, is a Christian feast intended to celebrate the “shining forth” or revelation of God to mankind in human form, in the person of Jesus. Some Christians commemorate the visitation of the Magi (Wise Men, We Three Kings) to the child Jesus on this day, while others use the day to commemorate the baptism of Jesus as an adult. January 6 was set by Christians as the date of Epiphany as early as the year 361, or maybe even before. Epiphany is the traditional end of the twelve days of Christmas, which by the way, begins on Christmas rather than ends on Christmas. If you are interested in knowing more about Epiphany, click on this link to Wikipedia.

Christmas Day, 2007: A lot has happened in the last month at St Paul, and I’m just now writing about it. Because we have been busy. Between family, work, and church activities, December has been a total frenzy. Where to start?

Sotto Voce Concert, Saturday, December 15th. – We had a good turnout of about 40 people to enjoy an excellent concert of Christmas music and holiday readings by congregation members. Along with the pet food donations we raised $495.77 at the concert that will go towards the need of the pets of persons suffering from AIDS. Thanks for everyone who came and participated. Your support makes a difference in the lives of people in need.

Wesley Bell Ringers, Sunday, December 16th – The turnout was a bit lower for this concert, maybe about 30 persons – which is a shame, because the Bell Ringers sounded impressive as always. If you haven’t heard the group of about 30 high-school aged musicians playing dozens of different sized and shaped bells, you need to catch one of their concerts. You won’t be sorry you went. They played a “politically-incorrect” concert of religious Christmas music. Donations at this concert are going toward the replacement of the flooring in the basement of the church, and with the money we have had donated recently from other events we are ready to start looking at what type of flooring to put on the floor.

Christmas in Copperton, Monday, December 17th – This is the second year for this celebration of the people of Copperton, and Pastor Carol narrarated the nativity story. As with last year, the celebration was marked by a flyover by a Blackhawk helocopter from their base in West Jordan.

Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24th – The Christmas Eve Service was a very beautiful and moving service concluding with the traditional candlelighting ceremony and the singing of Silent Night. The Sotto Voce quartet provided beautiful acapella versions of some to the music, and accompanied the congregation in singing the rest of the songs. Members gave readings of the Christmas story and Pastor Carol gave a short message. Unfortunately the snow began to fall as we were setting up for the service, and by the time the service began there was a full-blown blizzard going on outside. Some of the people scheduled to do readings were unable to make it, and the turn out was only about half of the year before. The luminaries we set out on the front steps and sidewalk ended up covered with snow, their candles extinguished, and the paper sacks frozen lumps on the sidewalk. Sotto Voce had a busy day on Christmas Eve, as earlier in the day they appeared on the Doug Wright show on KSL radio and sang several of their songs. We continue to be blessed with their willingness to be a part of the life of our little church.

Thanksgiving, November 22, 2007: What do you do for Thanksgiving? I’m talking about the verb thanksgiving, not the noun Thanksgiving. According to Wikipedia “Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a traditional North American holiday to give thanks at the conclusion of the harvest season. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada.” Wikipedia is referring to the noun rather than the verb. The thing rather than the action.

Most Americans have a traditional dinner with family and friends on Thanksgiving, and maybe watch some sports, or play with the grandkids. Or maybe scan the paper for good sale on Friday and get out the Christmas decorations. But how many of us actually give thanks? And if we do, how do we give thanks? One way to give thanks is to say a prayer thanking God for all the thing we have gotten in the last year, and all the good things that have happened to us and the ones we love. I would say that is a good thing – a first step, but only the first step. Thanksgiving is a verb too, and a verb denotes action. So to me, true thanksgiving, means doing something.

Did you donate a turkey to the food bank? Did you invite someone living alone to eat dinner with you? Slip a dollar into the Salvation Army kettle in front of the store? Then you doing thanksgiving, the verb. We all need to be reminded that our hands are the only hands that God has on earth, our money is the only money that God has on this earth, and that we are the only Bible that some people will ever read. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sharing our Building, November 21, 2007: For the last couple of weeks, St. Paul has been sharing our building with a group of Adventists who needed a place to worship. It has worked out well so far because they do their thing on Saturdays, and we do our thing on Sundays. It is good to have the building used more, and we are looking forward to learning more about them as they learn more about us.

Wesley Bell Ringers, Nov. 1, 2007: The latest St. Paul newsletter is on the website and one of the events we are proud to host is a concert in December is a concert by the Wesley Bell Ringers of Christ UMC in Salt Lake City. For 40 years the nationally acclaimed Wesley Bell Ringers (grades 9-12) have provided ministry through music to our congregation and community. The Bell Ringers go on tour every summer to different regions of the U.S. or Canada. They have rung their way through all 50 states and most Canadian provinces. They perform monthly in church and extensively along the Wasatch Front. The group generates funds for the tour through fundraising events throughout the year. (from the Christ UMC web site)Any donations we collect at the concert will go toward replacing the flooring in the basement multipurpose room. The linoleum on the floor is original to the church and is in pretty bad shape. And that was before the water pipe breakage last summer (see Disaster Strikes, June 3, 2007: entry below) caused many of the tiles to pop loose.

Also in December, Sotto Voce, the acapella group that has performed several times at St. Paul will host another program of seasonal music. As with their concert last December, money and donations of pet supplies are requested. The donated money and supplies will go toward the care and feeding of the pets of AIDS victims in the local area. (See Journal entry from December, 2006 for more information.)

We are proud and honored to host both the Wesley Bell Ringers and Sotto Voce, and hope that both concerts are full houses. Needless to say, the public is welcome.

Nothing but Nets, October 2, 2007: St Paul is joining other United Methodist Churches in the Rocky Mountain Conference to raise money for the Nothing But Nets campaign to purchase mosquito nets for people in areas of the world plagued by malaria. So far, we have collected about $200, which will buy 20 nets.

From the Nothing but Nets website: “Malaria is a disease caused by the blood parasite Plasmodium, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. Infected humans experience flu-like symptoms that can result in coma and death. Malaria, from the Medieval Italian words mala aria or “bad air,” infects more than 500 million people a year and kills more than a million— one person dies about every 30 seconds. The disease is particularly devastating in Africa, where it is a leading killer of children. In addition to being home to the deadliest strain of malaria and the mosquito best equipped to transmit the disease, many areas in Africa lack the proper infrastructure and resources to fight back. The disease is a self-perpetuating problem with large-scale impact on societies and economies. Malaria accounts for up to half of all hospital admissions and outpatient visits in Africa. In addition to the burden on the health system, malaria illness and death cost Africa approximately $12 billion a year in lost productivity. The effects permeate almost every sector. Malaria increases school absenteeism, decreases tourism, inhibits foreign investment, and even affects the type of crops that are grown.”

Please consider donating to this worthwhile cause, either through St. Paul or from the website.

Refrigerated Air, August 13, 2007: There was a time in America when the words “Refrigerated Air” were a common sight on signs of motels, movie theaters, even restaurants. (Picture below courtesy of James Lilek’s blog).

 

In the old days, and I’m dating myself to a certain extent, refrigerated air, or air conditioning as we call it today, was a luxury item. Especially in the southern part of the U.S. where summers are long, hot, and muggy. Back then, most people had fans, and some had swamp coolers – but swamp coolers don’t work very well in humid parts of the country. Only rich folks had refrigerated air, so movie theaters, restaurants, and motels advertised refrigerated air to a perspiring cleintele anxious to spend some time out of the sweltering heat. I remember from my childhood in Oklahoma seeing the signs on various businesses. My favorite signs had the letters covered in snow with icicles dripping off of them to emphasize the cool aspect of “Refrigerated Air”.

Since it was first built as a Army chapel in the 1940s, St. Paul has not had refrigerated air. We have fans – ceiling fans – floor-standing oscillating fans – small portable fans, to move the air around. We have also had a swamp cooler or two, that might or might not have been actually used as such in the past, but most certainly collected dust in the back storage rooms. Summer Sundays were kinda hot, and everyone was glad to go downstairs to the cool basement after worship service was done.

But this June we finally had the money to install a nice, modern, energy efficient refrigerated air system. It got it’s first real workout at the wedding of Iris and Wayne (more info to follow eventually.) The difference is really noticeable. Now I’m looking for a sign with snow and icicles on the letters to put up out front.

Crossroads Urban Center Sunday, July 15, 2007: Adam Burgett from Crossroads came to speak at church on Sunday. We took up a collection for Crossroads after his talk. The results:

Money:

$208.60

Food:

145.3 lbs

Other:

clothing/other thrift store items that aren’t weighed.

I checked the Journal page entry from last July to see how that compares to what we dontated then. Here is what I wrote last year:“First, an entire truckload of stuff for the thrift store plus 79 pounds of food. Most of the food items you contributed were put onto empty shelves so they really make a difference. Your generous offering of $110 was also received. You will be pleased to hear that an anonymous donor has matched your offering so your monetary gift ended up being $220.” So it look to me like we bested our donation from last year.

One of the things that Adam spoke to us about is the Community Food Co-op of Utah, a project of Crossroads. The description on the web site says We are a volunteer-powered, nonprofit food buying network, bringing people together for food, community & savings of up to 50% on high-quality fresh foods. There currently is no organization in Copperton that is a part of the Co-op, and St. Paul is interested in knowing if there is sufficient interest to become involved. If you think you might be interested in having the Community Food Co-op available in Copperton, please contact Pastor Carol at 860-3974. More information is available on the Crossroads Urban Center web pages.

Furniture Donation Received, June 29, 2007: St Paul received a donation of twelve wooden benches, two tables, and a desk from the S.K. Hart property management firm. We moved them to the church on the 29th. This will increase the seating in the back of the sanctuary for special events and will be more comfortable than the old folding chairs we have been using. Thanks to Heather and Donna at S. K. Hart for all their help in securing the furniture.

Air Conditioner Installed, June 24, 2007: The central air conditioning was installed last week, so now our sanctuary is more livable in the hot summer months. This will be a big improvement when we have a large gathering such as a wedding or concert in the afternoons or early evenings during the summer as the fans we used to use didn’t work well in a room full of people. Thanks to everyone whose dontations made the AC possible.

Wedding Pictures from May: Pastor Carol officiates at Julie and Brad’s wedding in the family back yard.

Disaster Strikes, June 3, 2007: We got to church to find that one of the water pipes in the basement had ruptured and was spraying water. It was a deluge of seemingly biblical proportions. Our historical church building has historical plumbing as well, and one of the old galvanized iron water pipes had rusted through and split open. A bookshelf full of books was drenched and there was an inch of water over most of the basement floor. Our workship service was cut short as the congregation members went to work with mops and shop vacs to clean up the water mess. Pastor Carol held a short communion service to remind us of why we were there. Three hours of work later, we set out fans to dry the basement and all the books were put on tables to dry out. We hope to salvage most of the books, several of which were old Methodist Hymnals.

60th Anniversary/ Historical Register/ Memorial Walk celebration, June 2, 2007: The 60th anniversary and Historical Register celebration was a great success. Held Saturday evening in conjunction with the three church progressive dinner that involved us and the Catholic and LDS churches, we had a great turnout of well over a hundred folks. Our part of the dinner was the dessert and we went through three large sheet cakes and served cookies when the cake was gone.

After the dessert was over, people went upstairs to the sactuary for the celebration. The acapella group Sotto Voce provided the musical accompanyment with several religious songs, and an encore of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. Pastor Carol talked about rememberance, and Afton and Pam talked about the memorial bricks and the historical marker, respectively. Thanks to everyone who made the dinner and celebration a success with their hard work and donations.

Update: A collection of photographs of the progressive dinner have been posted on the Internet at the following link. 2007 – Copperton Dinner Photographer J. David Anderson is selling copies of the photograph to anyone that is interested.

Article about St. Paul 60th anniversary and Historical Register, May 28, 2007: The Salt Lake Tribune has an article about St. Paul in the West Valley Close Up section. Here is the link. (Hurry, the link will rot in a couple of weeks.)

Licensing Day, May 6, 2007: Sunday, May 6 was a great day for St. Paul. District Superintendent Glenda Ullmer was here to intall Pastor Carol as a Local Licensed Pastor.

 

And what better way to celebrate in the Methodist Church but with a pot-luck dinner?

 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with all the various forms of United Methodist clergy and lay leadership positions, here is a quick primer taken from a brochure called “Certified Lay Minister.”

  • An Elder is a clergy member of the Annual Conference, ordained for Work, Sacrament, and Order, and appointed by the Bishop for itenerant ministry. (This is what most people think of as a minister. Itenerate means that the pastor is assigned to a different church every few years at the discretion of the Bishop.)
  • A Deacon is a clergy member of the Annual Conference, ordained for ministry of Word and Service, and appointed to a non-itenerant ministry in the community and the congregation.
  • A Local Pastor is a clergy member of the Annual Conference licensed for pastoral ministry. The Licensed Local Pastor does not itenerate. (This is what Pastor Carol is now. )
  • A Certified Lay Minister is assigned by the District Supertendent to provide lay pastoral leadership to small churches or other positions. The CLM has no clergy rights or benefits.
  • A Lay speaker is certified for ministry in the church and community, and may serve as a temporary pulpit supply.
  • The District Superintendent is an elder that serves for a specified term as the supervisor of a group of UMC churches in a defined geographic area (such as the State of Utah). And finally,
  • The Bishop is the clergy leader of the Annual Conference, an Elder that is elected for a term of service, usually 8 years. The Bishop oversees several District Superindendents, who in turn oversee the clergy described above.

2007 Apportionments Paid!, April 22, 2007: Each United Methodist Church is assessed an annual apportionment to pay for such things as maintining the Conference office, supporting the Bishop and staff, funding national programs and missionary outreach overseas, and various other things. St Paul has been paying it’s assesment in monthly installments with the goal to have it totally paid by the end of the year. Pastor Carol challenged us to step out of our comfort zone and commit to paying the entire apportionment now, rather than waiting until the end of the year. So that is what we have done. This is one way we are committing to fully participate and support our United Methodist system of connected churches. It also demonstrates our continued growth and vitality as a church family. (And it just feels good, sort of like paying off an outstanding credit card bill.)

One Billion Bulbs, April 23, 2007: We have been gradually changing out the incandescent light bulbs in our church building with compact fluorescent bulbs as a way to keep our electricity bill manageable (as well as reducing the load on our 1940’s era wiring system!). There is a website called One Billion Bulbs that is promoting compact fluorescent lights as a way of reducing pollution and saving energy, so I registered the bulbs we have changed out so far on the site. Clicking on the site lets you see what the effect of changing out a bulb is in terms of electricity savings, etc.

60th Anniversary Celebration on June 2, 2007 St Paul will be celebrating our 60th anniversary in our current location and building in a special ceremony to be held June 2. We will also be dedicating the Historical Register plaque. Look here or on the “Upcoming Events” page for additional information as it becomes available. (Posted April 16, 2007.)

A Historic Day for St. Paul UMC, March 13, 2007:We got a letter last week from the Utah Board of State History informing us that St. Paul’s church building has been placed on the National Historical Register as of February 21, 2007. Visit the Church History page for more info on the building. We plan to get a plaque to put in the church to let everyone know. We are also looking at other things, such as brochures and tours of the building for those that may be interested.

Ash Wednesday Service, February 21, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. :There will be a combination Ash Wednesday and healing service at St. Paul at 7:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend. Ash Wednesday is the day after Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) and marks the beginning of the season ofLent. Lent extends through Good Friday which is April 6th this year, with Easter Sunday on April 8. All the links above go to Wikipedia articles and if you click on all of them you will know a bunch about this season of Christianity.

Pie Social, February 19, 2007: Come visit St. Paul on Presidents Day, February 19 from 2 to 6 p.m. for our annual pie social. Enjoy a free piece of pie and something to drink and visit with your friends and neighbors downstairs at the church. A voluntary collection is being taken with the proceeds going to providing something for the service people in Iraq. Update: We raised over $260! Thanks to all who donated and had a piece of pie.

Bible Class starting February 18, 2007: Pastor Carol will be leading a class about the Book of Genesis Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. downstairs. To accommodate the class, worship is being temporarily moved to 11:00 a.m. Please join us for the class and worship.

Article in Salt Lake Tribune – January 24, 2007: Click here to reach the article about our December 17 benefit concert performed by the quartet Sotto Voce. The link will quit working in a couple of weeks, so don’t wait.

Church Phone – January 7, 2007: We recently disconnected the telephone in the church office. We weren’t really getting much use from it since there usually isn’t anyone in the office except on weekends. And the phone line or wiring had malfunctioned and wasn’t working anyway. The new phone number for St. Paul now is (801) 860-3974, and should provide a faster response than the old fixed phone line, which was mostly just useful for leaving messages.

Christmas Eve Service Update – January 7, 2007: We had about 35 folks attend the Christmas Eve candle lighting service, and want to thank everyone, especially the visitors. We heard that several people saw the news report about St. Paul UMC on Fox 13 news, (where they erroneously reported that we were having a 10:30 p.m. Christmas Eve service) and were there at 10:30. We would like to apologize to anyone who was inconvenienced by the mixup and invite you to come again some Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. We would love to get the chance to know you.


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