Open Doors – Digital Worship Experience

Open Doors has lift off! On January 8 St. Philip launched an interactive digital worship experience. It was a grand experience both for us as hosts and those who participated. One participant was a neighbor close by whose church home is some distance away. We were reminded of the incredible accessibility of this format.

Our mission together as disciples is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. The digital worship service is a recording of our Sunday worship service in an online interactive online format. Pastor Laura and Pastor David will host a chat for faith conversation and answer prayer requests as viewers converse and worship together.

Research suggests that a significant portion of the population is either apathetic to Christianity and practices of faith or even distrustful about conversation with people of faith about the faith.

YOU CAN HELP! We very much want to explore every avenue possible to publicize Open Doors. You can share the Facebook Event that communicates the next service. You can direct co-workers or acquaintances who are not quite sure about church or Christianity by directing them to the St. Philip website. You can send an email with the link below and an invitation to come and see. The service can be accessed at


Church Council News – January 2020

Council met on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. in the church library.

Peter Shick, Treasurer, distributed the Treasurer’s report for month ending December 31, 2019. The Treasurer’s report showed receipts for month ending December 31, 2019 of $23,115.22 and our year to date budget under $5,478.34.  Mr Shick stated we had more expenses for maintenance and repairs in the month of December.

Council continues to work on the proposed changes to the endowment policy, the guidelines and application to help process a request for donations.

Council discussed staff compensation for 2020 to include cost of living increase, step increase and merit increase. Gary Sahm, Council President, Gary Dudley, and Doug Layman will meet to discuss these increases for the staff and make recommendations to council at the next meeting.

Pastor David submitted to Council a Staff Evaluation Form he will use for yearly staff performance reviews. Pastor David and Pastor Laura will complete the form in June and submit to Council for their review in July.

Upcoming events are as follows:

Winterfest will be held on January 18, 2020. Children and family activities will be from 2-4 pm with the chili cookoff form 5-7 pm for all.

Open book hosted by Sue Huntington is on January 25, 2020, from 6-8 pm with a potluck meal. The book discussion will be on “Braving the Wilderness” by Brene Brown.

An anti-scamming seminar will be held on February 15, 2020 from noon until 3 pm.

A three part “Celebrate My Life” seminar will be held on March 1, March 15 and March 29, 2020.

Council discussed appointments to the nominating committee as new council members will be elected in April to replace those who have completed their term.

Pastor Laura reported the digital Open Door Worship was a success.

Pastor Laura will attend Winter Celebration with the senior high youth on January 25, 2020.

Pastor David will be out of the office February 2 through February 6, 2020. Pastor Laura will also be out of the office for a retreat but can be reached by phone.

B&D Locks will rekey the locks on the church doors and install a box with a passcode near the door at the kitchen to be used to enter the church on January 20 2020. Keys will be limited to church staff. Members of the congregation with a key will still be able to use their key inside the church to unlock the office and closets when needed. The passcode will be given to members of the congregation by speaking to one of the Pastors or Laura Latham, Office Administrator. A log will be kept as to whom the passcode has been given.

The next council meeting is February 11, 2020 in the church library.

News Newsletter

St. Philip Invitation – January 2020

Congregational Life News

Advent: Season of Hope

In Advent, God’s people wait with hope for the birth of Jesus, God’s anointed one. Advent lasts for four Sundays (and the weeks between them); lighting candles helps us mark the time as we get ready for the Light of World, Jesus Christ. Great memories can be formed as candles on a wreath are lit, scripture is read, and the hopeful anticipation of Christ’s coming is celebrated. You are invited to pick up Advent devotions displayed in the narthex (gathering space) for you/your family to use during this holy season.

Advent Worship

All are invited to mark days of anticipation and hope during the season of advent each Sunday morning at 8:30 and 11:00am worship. Our theme this Advent will be “Everlasting Light.” We will use a new liturgy, light candles on the wreath, and hear the stories of the promise of the coming of Jesus. We’ll also have a station in the gathering area where you will be invited to name the ways in which you see God’s light in the world each week. We are looking forward to celebrating this season of hope together as we celebrate God’s greatest gift of love – Jesus Christ.

Chrismon Tree Decorating, Sunday, December 15, before each worship service

A Chrismon tree is a special tree adorned with symbols of Christianity in its earliest days, such as the Alpha and Omega and the fish.  Newer symbols like a dove, Bible, rose, and cross and crown can also be used.  All decorations and supplies will be provided.

Christmas Caroling, Sunday, December 8, 2-4pm

You are invited to share Christmas cheer! Meet at St. Philip. Then groups will head out and about in the Roanoke Valley. Please also bring some cookies to share with folks. Sign-up in the narthex if you plan to join the fun!

Children’s Christmas Program

The children of St. Philip will share the Christmas story at the 5:30pm Christmas Eve worship service. Rehearsals for the children’s Christmas program are each Sunday at 9:50am, now through December 22.

Christmas Eve, you have two opportunities for worship: 

5:30pm – Candlelight service and youth program

9:00pm – Traditional candlelight service 

Holy Communion will be served at both services.  

Morning Worship the First Sunday after Christmas (Lessons and Carols)

Do not miss a wonderful worship of Lessons and Carols the Sunday after Christmas, December 29th.  Jesus story is told both by scripture and many timeless hymns of the Christmas season.  We will have one worship service at 9:30am.

Ministries News

Open Doors Worship

Pastor Laura

St. Philip’s  mission together as disciples is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. Pastors David and Laura are so excited to launch a new ministry at St. Philip to do just that! On Wednesday, January 8th at 7pm, we are going to launch a new Digital Worship service. The digital worship service will be a recording of Sunday worship service in an online interactive online format. Pastor Laura and Pastor David will host a chat for faith conversation and answer prayer requests as viewers converse and worship together. 

This ministry is specifically intended for those who are not yet a part of the St. Philip community, but all are welcome to join. As we share advertisements for this service, please feel free to invite people you think might enjoy this kind of worship format. The pastors are so grateful for new opportunities to share God’s love and can’t wait to see what happens next!

Christian Education Congregational Life News

New in faith formation

Spring Faith Formation

Learning more about God and the life of faith together is an important part of what it means to be the church. We are excited to share new opportunities for both children and adults:

· Pastor David will be lead our Adult Forum

· Pastor Laura will lead Faith Formation for our children (preschool -5th grade) as they have fun, explore faith, and learn stories about God’s love. 

This new schedule begins on January 12! Please mark your calendars and join in this important time for fellowship, learning, and growing in the faith!

Adult Faith Formation

Through December 22, Pastor Laura will host an adult forum in the Library on Sundays at 10am! We will utilize a curriculum called The Wired Word and engage in current event stories from a faith perspective. We’re called to live lives centered on the Gospel in a complex world, come join our discussion as we discuss how Jesus calls us to “Live Like that” in the world!

Monday Morning Bible Study Bible Study

Mondays 9:30-10:30am. Study the scriptures you will hear the following Sunday morning. This is a great way for you to come to Sunday morning worship ready to be engaged with the word as the story is told. If you have not been a part of the Bible study crew, now is the time to try it out! The crew meets in the church library.

NEW THIS YEAR: If you would love to join the Monday morning bible study, but can’t make it to the church, you are invited to participate from wherever you are using your computer, tablet, or smartphone via Zoom Videoconferencing using this link: 

Zoom is free for you to use and requires no download. The link to join the bible study remotely will also be posted on the website, Facebook page, and emailed to participants. Speak with one of the pastors if you have interest in connecting this way.

Faith Formation for Children

Through December 22, all children preschool age to 5th grade are encouraged to participate in Christmas Pageant practice and learn in a new way the story of Jesus’ birth.  

Cross Generational Faith Formation Coming Again in January!

“In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’” Matthew 2:1-2

“Praise [God], sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars!” 

Psalm 148:3

Have you ever wondered if chalk, water, and evergreens can be mixed? Do you fancy yourself a code decipherer – what then do you think 20 + C M B + 20 could mean? Be sure to plan to be a part of a cross generational faith formation experience on Sunday, January 5th at 10am in the St. Philip fellowship hall. This event is for absolutely everyone from age 1 to 100.

News Newsletter

St. Philip Invitation – November 2019

News Newsletter

St. Philip Invitation – October 2019

News Newsletter

St. Philip Invitation – September 2019

News Newsletter

The Adventure Begins – Welcome Pastor Laura

Pastor Laura will begin her ministry as Associate Pastor at St. Philip beginning on Monday, August 12. Feel free to stop by the church office during the week of the 12th to greet and welcome her to this community of faith. Pastor Laura’s first Sunday in worship will be August 18th and will again be an opportunity to introduce yourself.

This truly is an exciting time at St. Philip as we seek to answer God’s call to live like Christ – to live like that. Ask questions, make suggestions, practice hospitality, and pray without ceasing knowing that God’s got us and will guide possibilities into the future.

More exciting news about Pastor Laura’s new journey with St. Philip, including ordination and installation invitation can be found in this special edition of The St. Philip Invitation.