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Share Love, Share Hope, Share Life

May the grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you. I thank my God every time I mention you in my prayers. I’m thankful for all of you every time I pray, and it’s always a prayer full of joy. I’m glad because of the way you have been my partners in the ministry of the gospel from the time you first believed it until now. I’m sure about this: the one who started a good work in you will stay with you to complete the job by the day of Christ Jesus. I have good reason to think this way about all of you because I keep you in my heart. You are all my partners in God’s grace...a letter from Paul to the Philippians 1:2-7

Grace to you and peace!

No, we’re not in prison as Paul was when he began writing this letter above, but we are experiencing time in a pandemic. Our time has its own fears and constraints. Within this time, I think we’ve become more aware of each other and the common longings of love, hope, and life. Now, perhaps more than ever, I’m grateful to be sharing life with each of you; partners in God’s grace, to use Paul’s language.

Never before has a pandemic touched our lives, disrupting our entire world community. Never before has our church been asked the question, how do we respond to a pandemic?

St. Paul’s has been faithfully answering this question as best we can.

  • listening to the needs for pastoral and congregational care.
  • adapting our worship services to online options.
  • organizing people for reaching out to one another through phone calls.
  • creatively finding ways to reach adults, children, and youth through videos, online video groups and chats.
  • adding effective channels of communication in African languages.
  • adding places of prayer and developing discussion groups open to all.
  • seeking financial resources to support our staff for the continuing needs of ministry.

We also know that the financial impact on families, individuals, and on local organizations serving our most vulnerable neighbors, as well as our church, will need our faithful response too. This is why we are asking you to consider joining our church leaders in being a part of St. Paul’s response to this pandemic, establishing a fund for such a time as this. 


… a St. Paul’s UMC Community Love Gift Fund making an impact in specific ways.

MAKE ONE GIFT and designate it in whatever proportions you choose between these types of Love Gifts:

1) Share: Personal Lifeline a financial gift and encouragement to help an individual or family with a financial challenge due to the pandemic

2) Share: Mission Partners Supporta financial gift to be shared between several of our local mission partners serving those in immediate need. Our Sending to Serve Committee will allocate the gifts to these partners:

  • Family Promise provides housing and empowers otherwise homeless families
  • Helping Hands offers emergency financial assistance
  • His Hands Free Medical Clinic provides medical assistance
  •  Linn Community Food Bank is a free food pantry
  • Matthew 25 supports strong communities through affordable housing, healthy food and quality education
  • Mission of Hope provides daily meals, clothing and Christian support
  • United We March Forward empowers and supports immigrant communities in Linn County

3) Share: St. Paul’sa financial gift to support ongoing ministries of our church, reaching out in love, hope, and life.


With your participation, we think we can reach $100,000 in Love Gifts! Divided between these 3 areas of care, we will make a significant difference as partners in God’s grace, as we come together in love, hope, and life.

We are all different, so pray about what’s good for your family’s gift. For example, if 100 households each contribute $1000, we will reach our goal! Or, if 200 households each contribute $500, we will reach our goal. Every gift counts, no matter if you can share $25 or $2500! What gift will you share as part of our faithful response to this time?

If you are unable to participate in this invitation and are in need of any support or care, please reach out to us and let us know. We want to respond. We care.

As a church, we are grounded in generosity and gratitude, dependent on the gifts of a good God. I pray that you’ll ask how you might share yours through this faithful response. I give thanks for all of you, as partners in God’s grace.

This is my prayer: that your love might become even more and more rich with knowledge and all kinds of insight. I pray this so that you will be able to decide what really matters. Philippians1: 9-10a

This response to the pandemic will be administered by a leadership team of our Sending to Serve Committee, Church Council Chair, Co- lay Leaders, and Pastors.

Thank you! Be Well.
Grace & peace,

Rev. Dr. Sherrie Ilg, on behalf of Brad Colton, Church Council Chair, Melanie Nollsch, Co-Lay Leader, Ian Montgomery, Co-Lay Leader, Rev. Jonathan Heifner, and Rev. Daniel Niyonzima

Total: $45,305.27
as of June 24, 2020

Thank you for your generosity! We can do this!

    St. Paul's United Methodist Church
    1340 3rd Ave SE
    Cedar Rapids, IA 52403


    Office Hours:
    Monday-Thursday | 8:00 am-5:00 pm
    Friday | 8:00 am -12:00 pm 


    © St. Paul's United Methodist Church