Fireside Chats

Fireside Chats

Fireside Chats
St. Paul has hosted three Fireside Chats to allow members to share joys, concerns, grief, and hope. Additional Fireside Chats will be scheduled in 2021. Recordings of the first three Fireside Chats can be found on our YouTube page (links below).

Next Fireside Chat
Wednesday, January 13 at 6:30pm
(link below)

We hope you are signed up for the next Fireside Chat this Wednesday! The structure of this meeting will be slightly different to ensure participants feel comfortable sharing their feelings.

Meeting Structure for January 13:
This session will focus on the stresses our church has felt with the departure of some valued staff members at the end of 2019. As many know, there have been disagreements among church members as to the cause of the staff changes, and some hard feelings continue. The chat will be broken into small groups so people can discuss their feelings more freely. The staff will have a separate conversation. Darren and Lori will not be present for these break out session conversations. Please join us for this important step forward and please help spread the word about the structure of the chat. 

If you would like to be a part of this Fireside Chat, please register in advance for this meeting by going to this linkAfter registering, you will receive a confirmation email with a link you can use to join the meeting on Wednesday, January 13 at 6:30 p.m. Please note that the confirmation email you receive may say 6:00 pm as the start time but it starts at 6:30 pm. Ministry Architects reserves the Zoom line early for any team members to gather a few minutes before the Fireside Chat begins.

There are many positive developments at St. Paul, and we have a strong, creative staff team leading our services and activities. We appreciate the commitment of ALL our staff members. While there have been disappointments, there is excitement, as well, about our future and new community connections

Update from January 2021 Tower: As part of St. Paul’s work with Ministry Architects to assess and build a healthy church and clear vision, the Strategic Renovation Team is holding its first Fireside Chat of the new year on Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 6:30 p.m. There have been a few of these sessions where church members have gathered to learn about this work. There have been positive conversations about a variety of activities, and individuals have been blessed by these connections. The Jan. 13 session will focus on the stresses our church has felt with the departure of some valued staff members at the end of 2019. As many know, there have been disagreements among church members as to the cause of the staff changes, and some hard feelings continue.

If you would like to be a part of this Fireside Chat, please register in advance for this meeting at this link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email
containing information about joining the meeting. You will receive an email with a link you can use to join the meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 6:30 p.m.
Please note that the confirmation email you receive may say 6 pm as the start time but it’s 6:30pm. Ministry Architects reserves the Zoom line early for any team members to gather a few minutes before the Fireside Chat begins. There are many positive developments at St. Paul, and we have a strong, creative staff team leading our services and activities. We appreciate the commitment of ALL our staff members. While there have been disappointments, there is excitement, as well, about our future and new community connections.


Healing and Wholeness Service – January 17, 2021
Please mark your calendars for a Healing and Wholeness Service on Sunday, January 17 at 10 a.m., via Facebook Live, during our usual online worship time. Our main goal for the service is to name any hurt, grief or anger people are feeling, acknowledge it and move together toward healing & wholeness. Using meaningful stories, music to move the spirit and guided meditation, the healing service will move through the themes of Love, Confession, Forgiveness, Reconciliation/Unity, and Service. Participants will include members of the Strategic Renovation Team (SRT), Prayer Team, Youth, Worship Team and church leaders.


Report on First Fireside Chat:
You can watch the recordings of each Fireside Chat:

Fireside Chat #1 can be found here.

Fireside Chat #2 can be found here.

Fireside Chat #3 can be found here.


November 19, 2020 Report from the Strategic Renovation Team:

Your Strategic Renovation Team (SRT) has been hard at work! The team has had a few meetings and begun to tackle items on the report timeline related to the reconciliation service and the fireside chats. Here are some highlights from November.

A team was recruited to plan the reconciliation service and they have been meeting weekly on Mondays. They are Ed Henson, Garrison Cox, Cathy Miller, Jerry Osborn, Darren Brandon, Dustin Woods, Ann Curtis, and Debbie Wesslund. Two decisions made by this group were to rename the service from “reconciliation” to “healing and wholeness,” and to move the service to January in order to allow some fireside chats to occur and possibly impact the planning of the service. More details will be coming soon.

The first fireside chat was held on November 18 with 30+ people in attendance. For this first one, the SRT introduced themselves, as well as the other teams that had been recruited to help with the renovation work. The SRT also gave an update on their progress to date. 

Church members submitted questions in advance and those were answered along with those that came up during the conversation. Questions included inquiries about the numbers of church members watching the weekly services, how to best reach church members who do not use the internet and social media, and how dialogue will take place to address concerns over the issue facing the United Methodist denomination on same-sex marriage and ordination. Quite a bit of conversation was held around these topics in addition to the need for church members to feel (and remain) connected to each other as the pandemic continues. Many participants expressed the desire to share with each other what’s going on in their lives – joys and prayer concerns. Staff member, Sara Ferebee, was also able to speak about overall communications and how the church is trying to reach all populations. 

Participants left the fireside chat feeling positive and lots of great ideas were shared. The SRT will take a look at those suggestions as they move forward in their work. The purpose of the fireside chats is to provide a safe space for church members to gather, talk, inquire, express concerns, and get information. The hope is that healing will continue to take place during these conversations. 

The SRT also feels very strongly about being available to all church members. If anyone is uncomfortable speaking in a public forum such as the fireside chat, please reach out to the SRT members. They are here to listen to your concerns and are more than happy to have a one-on-one conversation with church members.

– SRT Team
Ray Fore, Ann Curtis, Robert Burns, Sal Rubino, Joanne Fleshman, and Julie Roberts.