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Bearing Fruit
April 27, 2008


There is nothing more disappointing to a farmer than a crop that doesn't yield. How will he care for his family, tend to his own needs, provide for his community or even build for the future? He cannot continue tending to a crop that won't yield, so it is back to the drawing board, start all over again; and at times, let that field go fallow.

So it is with Jesus' words to us in John 15. To abide in Jesus is to bear good fruit. To be a follower of Jesus is to look to Him, to look like Him, to listen and enjoy Him, to question Him, and grow from His challenging and disarming teachings. If we follow and thus, abide in Him, we begin to see the power of our joy, life, love, freedom, peace etc. flowing from the source life: Jesus.

Where can we start to grow fruitless shoots, pointless pursuits, or self-seeking satisfaction? These pursuits, if not led from the heart of Jesus can only lead to fruitless vines and therefore, death. The distractions are many, but the way is clear. Ask the Lord today to show you where He is growing you, where there is life and truth, and pursue Him there. Ask the Lord also to reveal the fruitless distractions that lead us to death and how we can cut them off in order to allow the fruitful branches of our lives to grow.

It's time to bear fruit and choose life.


The Rev. Daniel Morgan,
Assistant Rector

GAFCON - June 22-29, 2008
The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), which will take place June 22 to June 29, 2008 was organized to enable the Anglican orthodox to think, discuss and pray about the future of the Anglican Communion.

The GAFCON gathering does not mean schism. It seeks "to set out a clear biblically faithful and orthodox vision for the future of the Anglican Communion, to share with the rest of the communion in all available forums, and to work at shaping the communion toward that end." The goals of GAFCON are

  • To provide an opportunity for fellowship to continue to experience and proclaim the transforming love of Christ.
  • To develop a renewed understanding of our identify as Anglican Christians within our current context.
  • to prepare for an Anglican future in which the gospel is uncompromised and Christ-centered mission a top priority.

Many - but not all - of those attending GAFCON are leaders from the Global South. Some - but not all - will also be attending the Lambeth Conference in July. Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney and a member of the GAFCON leadership team, writes, "The emphasis of our time together will be our future in the Anglican Communion and the reformation and renewal of our common life rooted in the Holy Scriptures and our common faith in Jesus Christ."

The prayer coordinator for GAFCON, Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi of Nigeria has asked for intensive prayer for the two week long conference and pilgrimage in Jordan and Jerusalem. In particular he asks for prayer for "courage, strength, vision, and wisdom for faithful Anglican leaders in the global church; that God may speak to His church, give clear direction for the Anglican Church worldwide, and glorify His Name."

  • ApologetiX Performance June 13, 7:00 p.m. at St. Paul's
    ApologetiX (a Christian parody band) will be performing live at St. Paul's Church Friday, June 13, 2008 - 7:00 p.m. Tickets: $10 in advance; $15 at the door. Please call Call 203 655-8773 for more info.
    Meanwhile... why not check them out?

  • Dream Interpretation June 21
    On Saturday, June 21, by popular demand, Jim Leach will be presenting a one day Seminar on Dreams, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Parish Hall. If you are interested, please contact Jim Leach at 655-8773.
  • Da Yoot News
    June 25 - 28: CreationFest '08 Four days of camping, company, music, the Word.
    July 6 - 12: A Mission adventure in Tennessee! A chance to do something practical to help a family in need, learn a practical skill or two, spread the Gospel - and have fun!
  • Change To Make A Change
    Our Yoot Group is collecting change in order to prepare for this July's mission trip to Tennessee. They will be doing "Habitat for Humanity" type projects on the homes of local people in need. Your pocket change, car cup holder collection, or penny jar can make a huge difference in the lives of those we will serve. There is a collection jar in the narthex, so bring your change - and make a change!
  • New to St. Paul's?
    If you are relatively new to this church or "just visiting", we would like to invite you to receive a word of encouragement! Immediately following the 10:30 service, you can find us in The Prayer Room (that's on the right as you enter the Parish Hall) and sign up at the door for a 5 minute slot.
  • A Double Celebration
    On May 11, 2008, we will be celebrating both Pentecost and Mother's Day. And celebrate we will! Our guest preacher will be Jan Nel, who needs no introduction to St. Paul's. Then, following the 10:30 service we will have a Mother's Day brunch. (As with most eateries on Mother's Day, you'll need reservations: there is a sign-up board in the narthex.)

    Mother's Day, as a holiday, is pretty self-explanatory. Pentecost is often regarded as the "birthday of the church", commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the believers described in Acts 2. The word, Pentecost, is the Greek name for the Hebrew festival of Shavuot which in turn celebrates both the giving of the Torah and the blessing of First Fruits.

    Plan to join us to celebrate our earthly mothers and Mother Church!

Life Together
April 27, 2008
FAQ: Since you are putting such a big emphasis on cell groups, why don't you just assign everyone to a group?

There are some cell group programs that promote that very idea; however, we purposely do NOT subscribe to that approach. Our reasoning is that God Himself does not operate in that manner. Scripture clearly indicates that God puts the parts of the body just where He wants them to be. [First Corinthians 12:18]

When Jesus put His group together, He prayed all night before selecting them [Luke 6:12-13]. Since Jesus said He only did the things He saw his Heavenly Father doing, we have taken the same approach to cell group growth.

It is not enough just to have a cell group model in place, or a cell group program up and running. THESE ARE GOD'S GROUPS. God calls the hosts or the leaders and God puts the hunger into individuals to join such a group.

Also in a properly running cell group, God sets up teams of people, usually starting with a core of two to four people. Each of these people is then able to use his or her spiritual gifts and that allows the community aspect of the group to be nurtured. In the end, having cell groups is about having community, which is what God is after in His church. You cannot impose community upon people; it is something people must draw into with the prompting of the Holy Spirit

- Jim Leach

Life Together
April 6, 2008
FAQ: Our group wants to branch out and invite co-workers and neighbors to discuss the Bible. How do you suggest we plan for this?
If you want to invite co-workers, neighbors or other community contacts you need to begin with building bridges of friendship. It is all about relationship. For people to come to your group, they need to know that they will not be embarrassed. That will only happen if they can trust you; in other words, they have to get to know you (or a group member) first.

Then you need to pray that God will give your friends and neighbors a desire to study the Bible and a desire to know more about Him. You should also pray for God to direct you to the people He has prepared.

Then you should probably invite these people to a social event like a morning coffee or an evening dessert. Make it clear to people that they are invited to HEAR ABOUT the idea of a Bible discussion group. Don't invite them to join because that is too big a step. They need to meet others in the group and think about the "idea" of the group. Again, it is all about relationships that get developed as much as it is about studying the Bible. You could let them know that there will NOT be a lecture series, but that there will be a series of informal discussions. The group should be aimed at those who would like to discover for themselves what the Bible says.

You also need to decide what you are going to do about child care! It is often hard for parents to get good child care and it gets expensive to do it on a weekly basis. If the group cannot hire a sitter than maybe parents can take turns so that everyone gets a chance to be at most of the meetings.

Finally, studying together is better than studying alone because everyone gets to see things from different points of view instead of only one. People learn as they express their discoveries. One person's insights will sharpen another person's understanding. When that happens, participation in the discussion increases and interest grows. Also you get to learn more about each other as you share from the heart.

Did I mention that it all boils down to being in relationship?

- Jim Leach

The Rt Reverend Martyn Minns comes home to St. Paul's!

This video is a ministry of AnglicanTV.org - Click here for more info.

Glory to God alone

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