A Message from Pastor Matt

October 8, 2017

Church News

Great things just keep happening around here!  I know that sounds a bit hokey, but I have to start out my letter acknowledging some great things that happened since I wrote to you in May.  We celebrated the ordination into Christian ministry of one of our own members, Rev. Westley Conn.  The festive ordination service marked the culmination of many years of Wes being nurtured in his faith development by his church family, so it was full of meaning and emotion for many who attended.  Wes is the eighth son of the congregation who has entered ordained ministry.

We also had the privilege of welcoming a daughter of our church family as a “mini” summer ministry intern.  Anna Geary spent August shadowing me, leading worship, and preaching, as part of her discernment process as she considers studying religion when she starts college next fall.  Although Anna is a high school senior, scripture teaches us that you’re never too young to be called by God.  The prophet Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and Jesus certainly bear witness to God calling whoever, whenever, for whatever God sees fit.  So, as a pastor and as a church, it’s quite an honor to be part of this holy work.

Great things are happening as we turn the page from summer to fall.  All three of our choirs are back in the swing of things.  The Children’s and Youth Choirs got things kicked off with Camp Sing-a-Lot and the Chancel Choir will sing for the first time on Sunday, September 17th.  Whether your 4 years-old or 94 years-old, there is a spot for you in one of our choirs!  The Children’s and Youth Choirs rehearse on Saturday mornings and the Chancel Choir on Wednesday evenings at 7pm.

We are also excited to begin a new kind of Sunday School experience for our grade-school classes.  The new year  got kicked off with Rally Day on Sunday, September 10th.  Our grade school classes (grades 1-6) will meet for Faith Formation Classes on Saturday mornings, beginning on Saturday, September 16th.  The hope is that this move will give more children the opportunity to attend either before or after their choir rehearsal than attend on Sunday morning.  The Pre-K and Kindergarten classes will meet at their regular time following worship on Sunday mornings and the Teen class will meet during Sunday school on September 17th to plan their schedule for the fall.  The 1st-3rd graders will meet in their rooms Saturdays, from 10:00-10:45am and the 4th-6th graders will meet on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am

Over the next few months and into next spring you will notice changes occurring in Shellenberger Park.  After about 30 years of providing fellowship space, the circle of benches will be replaced, eliminating rotting boards with synthetic material.  A new playground set will also be installed by next spring, giving the children of our church and neighborhood additional and safer recreation options.

Jesus’ call continues to come to us, just as he called his first disciples 2,000 years ago.  Just as they were called to preach and teach, we too are called to represent Christ’s healing presence in the world.  As we move into the new program year, we will be looking for ways that we can increase our positive presence in the community.  The news is full of challenges for our community and world.  Discouraging headlines of drug problems, poverty, natural disasters, and hateful actions that drive people apart can move us to dismay, or we can dig in and do Christ’s healing work.

May God bless and guide us.

Blessings,

Pastor Matt

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