Woven Together: Joy Weekend 2017
The tapestry of God’s love is deep and richly colored. At St. Paul, we embrace how each strand God twists and winds together helps us move toward a kinder, generous, and just world. On Joy Weekend, Nov. 11-12, come and be wrapped with goodness and grace as we look forward to 2018.
I’ve had the opportunity to relocate with John Deere three times since graduating from college in May 2013. Normally, one of the most challenging aspects of relocating is finding a new church to call home. In Davenport, I was introduced to St. Paul and found it was everything I was looking for, and more! After attending one service I knew I’d always be welcomed by and able to grow with the congregation.
The multiple service times have helped me be able to attend service regularly with a demanding travel schedule. You may see me sliding into the 11:45 a.m. service after a red-eye flight back from Arizona where I take MBA classes two weekends a month. Though it may seem crazy to come to church straight from the airport, those are the flights home I look forward to the most. I know after a long flight I’ll receive the greatest meal of all and be challenged to be stronger in my faith with the message from the sermon.
Serving the community I live in is a passion of mine. St. Paul’s work with Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army have helped me make connections with other members of the church while staying connected to the community I live in. I am looking forward to growing with the church and in my faith by participating in more book discussions, volunteering at church events, and getting involved in the 2136 programs.
My religion growing up was Lutheran. We moved to Bettendorf in 1981 and started attending St. Paul. I then met the love of my life and we married at St. Paul in October 1982. We resided in Illinois where we raised our family. My husband, Ron, was raised Catholic, so we chose this religion until our boys were raised.
Our lives are so full, but yet we recognized over the years that we wrestled the fact that our hearts were not being completely fulfilled. Ron and I felt this emptiness, and knew that we needed to find fulfillment in Christ.
Over two years ago, our beloved son passed away and we found St. Paul once again. St. Paul staff has welcomed us with open arms, and helped us through this very difficult time. No words can describe their compassion, conversations, etc., the list goes on. We are forever grateful.
There is such peace and warmth when you walk into the Sanctuary! There’s such positive spirit and energy that you feel when sitting amongst everyone. I have to say….it brings “tears and goosies” to me many times when I listen to the sermon and beautiful music. We are so blessed that God led us to such an amazing church. We became members in June 2016. St Paul is definitely fulfilling our spiritual void and growing our faith every day.
CURT AND COLLEEN CZUPKA
Curt and Colleen decided to begin a journey to rediscover life in a faith community. They had raised three kids in a church, but had fallen away a bit. A move to a new house stirred the need for some newness in their lives of faith. They visited St. Paul one Sunday morning in the spring of 2016.
“This was our first stop,” Colleen said.
“And it was our last stop,” Curt said.
The Czupkas then plugged in the way they best know how – by helping others. They’ve worked at Habitat for Humanity builds, painted the inside of a home for a refugee family, and served on the planning committee for Mayfest, St. Paul’s annual spring picnic. Anyone who ate at Mayfest this year probably saw them – they spent the morning and the afternoon in the food tent.
“We sensed that there was a lot of opportunity to serve here,” Curt said. “We’ve always liked to help people.”
Curt owns a painting business. Colleen works in IT at Genesis. They’ve been married 30 years. One of Colleen’s favorite parts of St. Paul is the children’s message during Sunday morning worship. “It’s amazing to wake up on Sunday morning and be excited to go to church,” she said.