Pastor’s Letter for September 2019
I believe our Jewish friends have it right: a new year does indeed begin in the fall (much more so than in the dead of winter on January 1)! Our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrate that new beginning in the Festival of Rosh Hashanah, High Holy Days culminating in Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement, this year beginning on September 30 and continuing to October 9. Though those festivals are not part of our tradition, we certainly feel a sense of newness and renewal as we turn the calendar to September, enjoy cooler temperatures, share in back-to-school shopping for children and grandchildren, take a breath after Milan’s Melon Festival, and say “Ok, now we can begin…”
Shaking off the lethargy of summer’s heat and high humidity, we feel ready to become more productive and take on new projects around our homes and, I hope, feel ready to take on new projects for God’s Kingdom. It’s the season for being fruitful!
Right now, we have a number of Mission and Service Opportunities available to you through our church. They range from spending an afternoon joined with others across our Annual Conference in packaging 100,000 meals to provide for the world’s hungry through Project Feed, to a local work day at nearby Flat Rock Homes (who serve developmentally disabled persons and their families), to farther ranging Mission trips to the Midwest Distribution Center in Central Illinios (where United Methodist Committee on Relief supplies get packaged and readied for shipment), to relief trips to Mexico and Puerto Rico. Where might God be nudging you to give of your time and energy in the service of his Kingdom and His children in need? Please give our church a call to discuss any to these projects further.
This month we also offer a renewed learning opportunity in our Tuesday evening Bible Study’s discussion of the final chapters of The Letter to the Ephesians at 7 p.m., and planning for new topics. Sunday School for all our children will resume on Sunday, September 10, with new opportunities for learning and growing in Christ.
What fruits is our Lord looking to grow and mature in your life in this season?
As we journey into this new season of fruitfulness, I offer a Franciscan blessing to go with us:
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.
May it be so for each of us.
Yours, in Christ’s love,