How to Make a Big Decision

How to make a Big calling a Snow Day!

Ever wonder how "big decisions" like canceling church services are done??  Let me take you into the wee morning hours of February 1, 2015 when church services were canceled due to the snow.  Let's what what happens...
  1. Pastor Bill awakes...and immediately turns on the news.
  2. A scroll full of names appears on the screen.
  3. Fear grips his heart.
  4. Pastor Bill looks outside to see...snow!...and lots of it!
  5. A prayer is said, "Why God?  I have a great sermon this morning!"
  6. Pastor Bill continues staring at the screen, looking for "Lutheran names".
  7. (The thought here was...who is canceling church and where?  The names of the two big ELCA churches around us(First English and Salem) never do pop up).
  8.  Pastor Bill goes into the kitchen and peers out a better window to see the snow still coming down HARD!
  9. Fear grips his heart again.
  10. Pastor Bill grabs tablet to continue to scroll down the church names, hoping to see ones he knows.
  11. A text comes in.  A Confirmation parent is informing him that her daughter will not be there.
  12. Resigned that he probably will have to cancel church, he marches over to the office to retrieve the "cancel church sheet" housed in the secretary's desk.
  13. With "Cancel Church Sheet" in hand, he goes back home...and stares out the window some more.
  14. A prayer is said, "God, let it keep on snowing!"
  15. A text goes out to Melissa to start the Facebook page cancellation notice happening.
  16. After texting parent to let them know that church will be canceled, he proceeds to cancel services through the websites, stopping only long enough to weep over the great sermon he had prepared that he won't be able to deliver.
  17.  A ringing of the doorbell thirty minutes later indicates that someone didn't watch the does the phone calls that come in throughout the morning.
  18. Resigned to stay up and face down his decision, Pastor Bill goes into the basement to play on his computer until the official time for services would be over.
Of all the decisions that I get to make as a pastor, canceling services is by far my least favorite.

However, I am so glad we did cancel services.  With folks coming from all over the Peoria area, it was better for everyone to stay home than to risk their lives on the streets.

Still, after making this decision that only affects a few people, maybe we should stop and pray for those who make even bigger decisions in life that affect not just a small community of believers but many, many more!

'Cause I know, after making a decision like this one, they need our prayers!

St. Paul Business Highlights

St. Paul Business "Highlights"
Submitted by Pastor Bill Dohle
Monday, January 26, 2015

This past Sunday(January 25th), St. Paul had its Annual Meeting.  I'm not sure why we call this our Annual Meeting and the one we have in July our Bi-Annual Meeting, but we follow the guidelines set about in our by-laws which says...

"Thou shalt have two meetings a year.  An Annual Meeting in January and a Bi-Annual Meeting in July"
(If you close your eyes and imagine God talking to you...that's how our bylaws sound like sometimes...)

Anyway, for those of you who couldn't make it to our Annual Meeting, I've given a list of unofficial highlights of our time together.  Please note, these highlights are composed by Pastor Bill and may be a little biased!

Since I know how many people are deathly afraid of church business meetings, I've highlighted some special things in my mini-report below...

Highlights of the Annual Meeting 2015
  • No one killed anyone else!!  (Always a plus!)
  • More than one killed ME! :)
  • Questions were asked...and answered!  And no one died because of them!
  • Food was eaten!  Good food too!  (My favorite was the scalloped potatoes I heard Joel Peterson made from Cindy Peterson's mother's recipe.  If you get a chance...ask them for the recipe! Yum!)
  • No one died from what they ate.
  • Vision was had and shared by our council president, by me, and by a number of other people.
  • A budget for 2015 was passed with few people having anything to say about it.
  • A report from the last year was given...many reports in fact from many different people...from last year were given!
  • The website was talked about.  Not sure how many people have the internet sitting in the crowd, but everyone clapped, so I guess they liked it.
  • Everyone left in one piece!
One thing we forgot to do was to thank everyone involved...everyone who brought food and ate it.  Everyone who stayed for the meeting.  Everyone who serves on council, especially our Treasurer, Vice-President and President, Financial Secretary, and Secretary and, of course, Amie Hester all who always put more time into this than anyone can see...

Other than that...everything went great!  Hooray St. Paul!  Hooray for 2015!  May God bless us until our next meeting...the Bi-Annual one...this coming July!

I wonder what will happen at THAT meeting...


Welcome to the St. Paul Lutheran Church!  And to 2015!

This new year brings a whole new blog! This has been created to share upcoming events, ruminating thoughts, noteworthy news and hip happenings taking place within the St. Paul Lutheran Church family!

Stay tuned!!