Next Sunday, Sept. 11th, we’ll have a special service to celebrate our community gathering together after a summer of time away, of relaxed moments on vacation, of a relaxed pace. It will be good to come together in celebration to launch our Fall!
As we draw together, I wonder who is missing from our pews and chairs and circle? Who was once a part of this community who you haven’t seen in a while? What families or individuals fell away during covid isolation and the pause between settled pastors?
Sometimes we hesitate to reach out, fearing that we are intruding, or that our welcome will be rebuffed. Perhaps it will…but what if it isn’t? What if your invitation, your phone call, your text is a welcome reminder to them that they are — still are — a valued, treasured part of this community. What if they’ve been wondering if they are missed? This service might be a wonderful reason to be bold and brave and extend that welcome.
During the service, we’ll also Bless the Backpacks of the students in our midst who are returning to school…or perhaps the teachers and staff who are going with them. Schools are rich places of learning, of discovery, and joy. They can also be places of exclusion, anxiety, and difficulty…and then there’s the ever-present thrum of fear of school shootings.
This blessing will allow all of us to surround the students and teachers of our community with our love, reminding them that we and God travel with them wherever they go. If you have neighbors, grandchildren, reluctant kids, returning teachers, this is a service to encourage them to come to! Remind them to bring their backpacks or bags they use for school if they can.
And then, after all of that worship and celebration, we’ll gather for perhaps the best part… eating in community!
We’ll break bread together with a potluck, the first in a very, very long time. I hear the potlucks at this church are no joke and, as a serious eater, I look forward to tasting the dishes brought… but the most important thing is to bring you!
Bring something if you can, but please come even if you can’t. It’s your company we are most interested in. If you’re able, please bring your own place settings and beverages to lighten the load on clean-up crew and the earth.
Can’t wait to see you — and all those who you invite — on Sunday Sept 11th.