Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. And so, it begins again! Those associated with school age children know all too well the anxious nervousness yet bristling excitement this time of year brings with the return to school. As the glow of the stadium lights, and the sounds of cheering fill the air of our community each Friday night, we know that our summer days are quickly waning. With it, arrives a new year of learning for our children and the much-needed return to routine. And it effects almost every aspect of life, our community events, athletic clubs, concert series, and the activities of our church.
One of the highlights of my twenty-plus year career as a band director is assisting students in taking their next step after high school. Students routinely seek my guidance and we often discuss the themes of comfort and risk taking. It is our nature to seek comfort for our future. But as I frequently remind them, it is often in comfort that we quickly become complacent, uncaring, disconnected and uncompassionate. When we embrace the unknown and take a risk, moving past what we know…we allow ourselves to experience growth! Isn’t that what life is all about? To grow in our faith, our knowledge, and our compassion for one another. They all originate yet also point to one thing. That thing, my brothers and sisters, is love. The love of the Father as shown to us by the Son.
Over the past year, our congregation has faced and embraced multiple challenges as a community of believers, not just in regard to the direction and stability of our church, but many have felt individual challenges which have changed the faces of our family, our traditions, and have caused us to recreate ourselves. It has caused us, just when it seemed we could get comfortable, to take a risk and change our routine. And I submit…change is not such a bad thing! We have grown. Perhaps not in number, but in proving to ourselves that we can do what we must to survive and serve our congregation and community. But we must continually ask ourselves…have we done enough? I think the answer is that we have much more to do!
This September 9th marks the one-year anniversary of my ordination as your deacon. Many of you remember that celebration we enjoyed. Once the euphoria of that day settled and the work to be done became clear to me, the challenges that would come, as Pastor Rooney indicated in his sermon, indeed did so. With them came doubts, and even a few moments of feeling utterly defeated. But, with it also came new joy, growth, and a zeal for the work to be done in our community by the people of our congregation.
Your encouragement and strength continue to bolster my belief that we have much work to do despite inevitable changes, both past and future. I encourage you, as our children embark a new year of risk-taking and growth, to find a way to build that mindset into your life and see where it leads you. Let that opportunity for growth seep into your faith and service.
I continue to appreciate your prayers. Serving as your deacon and continues to be a true blessing in my life. Peace be with you. +