|Hi Church Family. Let me start here. I miss you all. I miss us all being able to be together on Sunday mornings, especially for the moments that we just can’t get by a Zoom meeting or jumping on the Facebook Live-stream. I miss what I see happen when those of us who are here for worship begin to file out after service on Sunday – like watching Mary Hirt having the chance to talk with Carolyn McKee.
That’s why I want to take a moment to catch us all up to speed on our plans going forward this coming month.
First, for this coming Sunday, there will be no in-person worship this coming Sunday, Sept. 6th. We are taking this as a moment of holy pausing. We are now several months into our journey together as a family of faith. We’ve adapted. We’ve kept in touch. Some of you have even begun connecting in your homes and are watching the service together in your home.
We’ll use Labor Day Weekend as a chance to reflect for a moment and rest for the next part of our journey together. I’ll be sending along links that you’ll be able to access for Sunday morning worship, and I’ll be inviting us to think about what things we now know are essential for this journey and what things we can let go of. I’ll also be providing a prayer exercise you can use this Labor Day Weekend and going forward to connect with God.
I can’t thank Lynne Ayers enough for her willingness to assist us during this time, and please join me in expressing our gratitude to her. Lynne and I will also work together this week to create a few musical pieces to center us in the Lord. I’m also grateful to announce we are far along in our search for the next person who can join our congregation as a leader of worship and music, and I invite you to join me in praying that God opens this door.
Finally, I extend an invitation to you. Come join us on Sunday. Margo and Steve Thomas came this past weekend and were able to sit near Kayla Flegal. As Margo told me yesterday, “it was really good to be back in church.” I continue to trust that we’ll all make the right decision for ourselves and our families, but if you’d like to come on a Sunday, please do. We’ve been able to respectfully care for each other by making sure to wear masks, and everyone I’ve talked to who has come has said they have felt protected. So, if you’d like to join us on Sunday, September 13th, please email Carol (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call her at the church office on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays between 9 am and 2:30 pm.
Our church home has never really stopped being a center for ministry, and I love how from day 1 of this time, we’ve put our attention on being there for our community. Our blessing box was a huge success, and we’ve now transitioned that box to a permanent food pantry box located on the sidewalk near our fellowship hall sidewalk and SAWs building.
Our daycare has been open since mid-May, and Shelby Aguirre and her team are doing admirable work in pouring themselves out for this ministry. I invite you to join me in continuing to pray for Shelby and her team. Like all teachers and schools right now, there are all sorts of additional stress points. But, it’s beautiful to watch this team showing up every day to provide loving care to these kids. My prayer is that Round Barn is giving families that extra bit of support and stability as moms and dads transition back into work.
John and the SAWs team really are doing admirable work as well, and they have adapted very successfully as a team. If you would have told me in mid-March that John and his team would still be on pace to build over a dozen ramps and have a full slate for the fall, I would have said there’s no way this was possible. But because of the team’s commitment and their willingness to mask up, they labor on. They’ve got a big ramp coming up on the weekend after Labor Day up at Van Biber Lake, and I’m sure John and the crew would love to have you join them if you’re available.
Carolyn McKee has started a wonderful opportunity for our church family to bless our local teachers. We had several volunteers here last Friday at 10 am, and I believe the plan is to keep gathering on Fridays to help some kindergarten teachers by doing some class material prep.
Finally, I’m so grateful for the ways our church family has banded together in this time to care for and update our church building. THANK YOU so much for all the little things and big things you’ve done to help us complete a number of projects that we’ve been hoping to do for some time.
And, yes, we’re still working away at our parking lot project and our landscaping project. Our parking lot project is close to the final major work. S&G concrete specialists are planning to start on our front entrance next week. They will be pouring a 6” slab that will take care of our drainage issues there at the front. Meanwhile, our landscaping project still has some key pieces that are coming soon. Vanessa has planted two dogwood trees up near our church home, but she’s still planning to plant some Viburnum and some Black-Eyed Susans up near the front and three redwood trees down in our middle island. Did you get a chance to contribute to the parking lot project? I’d still love to see us meet our overall goal, and we’re not quite there. If we can raise the full amount, that will help us add appropriate handicap spaces to our lot. When you send in your pledge or tithe this week, you might add a donation of $50 or $100 to help us meet that goal.
It’s a blast watching how much this congregation loves to do for both our church home and our community! I love being able to walk with you during these days.
p.s. – For those of you who are missing the “Daily Prayer” emails, I would encourage you to check out the resource I have been using for those times. It’s called “Give Us This Day” (click on the link to find out more). Of course, you can also stop by our church on Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 9 am and 2:30 to pick up the newest copy of the Daily Bread or Upper Room devotionals.