Today marks the end of our summer season and the beginning of our new church year. Summer is past, although the thermostat does not seem to have gotten the message. Beginning this week, we return to our regular worship services and administrative office schedule. Tune in to our pulpit announcements and refer to our OneBody notices and The Spirit for dates and times of our new operations and administrative procedures in the new church year.
As we enter our new church year today, we are reminded of the many challenges we experienced last year, yet we are grateful that God brought us through and permitted our congregation to grow spiritually in many ways. We closed the church year with great success in our Covenant Commitment Campaign; to God be the glory! Our Reimagining Initiative has helped us to begin envisioning new and exciting ways that our church can grow in its ministry both to our own congregation and to our community. Our reimagining subcommittees have recommendations of specific initiatives that will help us face the challenges of the 21st Century. For example: our website will be redesigned to maximize its appeal to all ages; our intergenerational ministry will plan strategic programs to nurture dialogue and enhance understanding among the groups; our development of affinity groups will begin with renewing our commitment to single and couples ministry; and our worship services will focus on providing rich opportunities for spiritual growth and maturation without needing to believe that longer services are better services. The late Dr. Gardner Taylor once opined that a service need not be eternal to be immortal. As the adage attests, “brevity is the soul of wit.” We pray that God will hear our petitions and empower us to be an even more effective and faithful congregation, as we move deliberately and prayerfully with anticipation into our new church year. We commit this new church year into God’s hands, believing that with God on our side, we can do anything but fail!