St. Paul’s UCC, Exton: November 2, 2014

StPaulExton2Though she be but little, she is fierce.”  So wrote Shakespeare, and so one might say of us, though our ferocity is more in the loving and caring line.  The cultivation of friendship, the bearing of one another’s burdens, the building up of the body — these are some of our core values at St. Paul’s of Lionville as we strive to minister grace in a subdivided suburban landscape.  We recently started a “First Friday” night where we come together to share a common meal and an inter-generational activity.  Last month we ended the evening by singing songs around the campfire. Last year we started a new women’s group, the Divine Sisterhood, to make a space for mutual support, listening, and meaningful relationship.  Community is our bag.

Creativity is a close second.  In our well-attended Bible studies (every Wednesday morning) we put into practice Emerson’s observation that “there is then creative reading as well as creative writing.”  Our members do both:  every Advent and Lent we write our own daily devotionals, with meditations and prayers written by more than a dozen members and our pastor.  Once or twice a year our creative arts team  plans a festival worship service—shadow puppets, anyone?  We also create our own VBS curriculum.  Last summer we taught the kids about being Heroes of the Faith, exploring the lives of Sojourner Truth, William Wilberforce, Julian of Norwich, Brother Juniper, and Dorothea Dix.  We even made a telephone booth out of a giant cardboard box so that the kids could make their superhero costume changes.

We have a special appreciation for the UCC statement that we are called to be “servants in the service of others.”  Twice monthly we send teams to the W.C. Atkinson men’s shelter in Coatesville to prepare and serve supper. Every fall we send an energetic bunch to the Downingtown CROP Walk. (pictured). We are longtime supporters of the Lord’s Pantry in Downingtown.  These and other missions relating to hunger and homelessness have been very important to us. We also love offering hospitality to the wider community every November when we hold our holiday fair. Visit our website or our Facebook page to learn more.

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