St Paul’s United Church, Lake St Peter, ON
Service time is 9:30 AM on the second and fourth Sundays of each month. On the first and third Sundays we join the congregation of St Andrews-Bethel in Maynooth.
St Paul’s in Lake St Peter has been in existence since 1945. It was built as a Congregational Church by the people of Lake St Peter on land donated by a Lake St Peter resident, and is still attended by adherents of other faiths.
At present there are 13 active members, a few active adherents and a few people who attend occasionally. Because the St Andrews-Bethel congregation joins us every two weeks, there are usually 16 -20 people in attendance.
The congregation is composed of retired people, over 60 years of age, with the exception of two young women, one, who is the mother of two young daughters. Offerings of the faithful keep the church operating and volunteers keep it in good repair.
Outreach is one of the goals we try to maintain, especially supporting the local Ecumenical Food Bank which is located in the Anglican church in Maynooth. We, as individual parishioners, were active in donating to the Ukrainian Fund which was initiated in our Charge in March 2022.
Covid-19 had a very negative effect on the life of the church. UCW meetings were discontinued, all opportunities to raise money for the ongoing operation of the church were taken away by the virus: no yard sales, no bazaars, no catering for weddings, funerals etc. The UCW has morphed into a Tuesday morning Craft Group, attended by 6-7 women. Their purpose is to socialize, have fun and to be creative. Although as many as 10 neighbourhood women can be counted on to carry out a project, such as the recent Yard Sale which raised $800.29. These monies help to keep the church viable.
Fortunately during Covid-19 the Caring and Concerns Committee was able to send cards to those in the church and community who were in need of support or were celebrating a special occasion. The practice continues at the present time.
St Paul’s benefits from not only having a part-time minister in the person of Rev Marilyn Zehr, but reliable Lay Leaders. As well, there is an active Worship Committee in the Charge which plans, along with the minister, upcoming worship themes, pulpit supply and keeping the church moving forward.
At present, we have 29 members (23 active) and 6 active adherents. Our average attendance during the winter is 18-25. During the summer, up to 35 people attend our Sunday Services.
The congregation is mostly “50+” retired people from various walks of life. Some of our members and adherents are from the city and have come here to enjoy the beauty of the surroundings. St. Paul’s has been welcoming to new ministers and has been proactive in supporting them. All of our members and adherents are anxious to keep our church doors open, and they work hard towards this end. We are strong supporters of the Ecumenical Food Bank and participate in the Ecumenical services in our area.
We have a roster of congregational members for Sunday Service scripture reading and for Minute for Mission. We also have four members who are willing to take Sunday services when our minister is not there.
We have an active U.C.W., which meets monthly, offering Christian fellowship to its members and providing needed fundraising support for the church. The U.C.W. has held suppers, Daffodil Teas for the Cancer Society, rummage sales, annual summer and Christmas bazaars, Toonie sales, our own Burnt Fingers cookbook, organized and delivered occasional church services and hymn-sings, and catered to community funerals, weddings and family reunions as requested. Our Caring & Concern Committee is diligent in sending cards to those in the church and community who are in need of support.
U.C.W. members and others from the church regularly serve coffee and goodies after Sunday church service during a time of fellowship.
Music is a big part of our worship experience. Some of our members are partial to the “old favourite” hymns and we enjoy singing them from time to time.