A Joyful, Welcoming, Inclusive Community of Faith

Steve’s Slant

As part of our observance of the Labor Day weekend, and as we have done now for several years, we gathered for worship this past Sunday in the Morris Pavilion on campus.  It was a particularly lovely day, with a hint of fall in the cool air and I was reminded again of how special these outdoor services are.

As those of you who were present know, I had planned on preaching a rather traditional Labor Day sermon, one that highlights the value of work and explores the unique nature of the work we are all called to do as God’s people, the Body of Christ in the world.  But this year, in light of the sheer volume of work there is to do in the wider world — from hurricane relief, to resisting the spread of racism, to protecting the rights of immigrants and refugees, including the so-called Dreamers who are here under DACA — I was moved to take a different approach.  I opted to focus instead on the need to follow God’s own example and take a Sabbath.  Sometimes we just need to enjoy a respite, and to gather our collective breath (that is, to be inspired), so that when the time does come to resume our work, we can approach it with renewed energy, commitment and vitality.

Now that we’ve had a bit of time to enjoy that respite, the time has come to begin our work.  In what follows, I’m not going to focus on the larger opportunities — the macro level work, as it were — that we’re all facing as conscientious Americans.  Instead, I again want to take a different approach.

Knowing that the Fall season is rapidly approaching, some of you are probably wondering what all is going on at church these days.  The list below is intended to answer that question.  I provide it here for two reasons.  One, I simply want us all to be aware of all these activities that will soon animate our life together.  And, two, I offer this information in case you want to join in on some of these opportunities that are open to congregational participation.

This week:

  • Our Nominating Committee for next year’s class of elders met yesterday (Tuesday).
  • The search committee for our new Associate in Ministry met last night.  They have completed their first round of interviews of with a slate of highly qualified candidates.  I was able to confer with them last night, and their hope is to make a final recommendation to Session by the end of this month.
  • Choir rehearsals have resumed, every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel.  On Sunday, they will sing in worship for the first time this season. 
  • Our first Habitat workday starts on Wednesday of this week, and our slate of workdays on the Presbyterian House continue through November. 
  • The Stewardship Planning Team is meeting this Friday, to continue planning our fall stewardship campaign.

This Sunday:

  • Children’s and Adult Sunday school classes start this Sunday at 9:45 a.m. 
  • Room in the Inn also starts this Sunday.

This month:

  • Our buildings and grounds action team is sponsoring an all-church work day on Saturday, September 23rd.

Finally, more generally…

The Forward Planning Leadership Team has been meeting with our five main Goal Teams to assess the next steps we need to take in each area to live into the goals of our Ministry Plan.  As a reminder, these are our main goal teams: Congregational Care; Community Engagement; Faith Development; and Sustainability.

These are just the opportunities I know about.  I’m sure there is good work going on all the time–work that shows the world and our neighbors who we are, what we value, and what we are called to do as a family of faith, a community of God’s people.

Thanks be to God!