From the Pastor
The first frost of fall reminds us of the changing seasons. Flowers that graced our tables during the summer and into early fall are no more. Choosing the best tomato from the garden is no longer a possibility. Summer’s colorful bounty of fruits and vegetables shifts into a landscape of oranges and yellows and reds as we see the landscape change before our very eyes. Fall is a beautiful time of the year with a briskness that encourages long walks and warm cider. It is a time for change.
In the life of the church, fall brings change as well. Our choirs are singing, our Sunday School gathers, worship meets multiple times on a Sunday morning. The question that is before us is have we changed as well? Have we, as a community of faith, shifted somehow over these summer months? Have we returned to our activities in the church renewed? Refreshed? Ready to try new things? Working with the Worship Committee and Christian Education, we are trying something new! Second Sunday Celebration (9:30 am) provides a time for all of our Sunday School classes to worship together in the sanctuary, honor our children’s choirs and provide a family friendly atmosphere for our guests and visitors.
Over these next few weeks, I will be sharing with you, through a sermon series, “The Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations.” As we continue to grow together, we have an opportunity to examine some of the ways churches achieve excellence – in hospitality, worship, giving, faith development, mission and service. Based on a book by Bishop Robert Schnase, these five practices guide us as we choose to make disciples for the transformation of the world. Vibrant and growing congregations offer the invitation and welcome of Christ, provide worship that connects us to God and to one another, offers opportunities for people to grow in Christ by learning in community, relieves suffering and improves the condition of people in need through service and mission and teaches people to give of themselves. Most importantly, we strive to do these things with excellence, moving from intellectual understanding to personal practices of discipleship. The only way this can happen is by inviting God into our hearts, growing spiritually, serving and loving others and allowing God to shape our giving.Change is yet possible as we are transformed individually and as a church. God has great plans for this congregation in this place and time. Let us honor all that God is calling us to be through: Radical Hospitality Passionate Worship Extravagant Generosity Intentional Faith Development Risk-Taking Mission and Service May we be a people transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit through God in Christ. Amen. Pastor Jeannie
May you be blessed and loved,