There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
On a drive past the Bayfield apple orchards, it is evident, the seasons are about to change! The apples are full and looking ripe. The leaves are just now hinting at changing color. Our gardens are bearing produce. The sandhill cranes are coming together in noisy flocks and chucking clods of dirt at each other. It is a time of anticipation and beauty. Spring is often the favored time of year because everything is new, but maybe the fall season really is the best.
We have many transitions at the church! Sunday school is starting. The kickoff will be September 10th at 9:00 am. We have found that the Purple Park works very well for us. There is plenty of space for games, registration, snacks, music and parents to hear about plans. This is a Confirmation class year. I will be teaching confirmation for grades 6 and 7 with Alice Evenson. We will visit other churches, learn about what we believe, and do some mission work. The plan is to make faith make sense for our young people. After the kickoff, the Sunday school classes will start the following Sunday, September 17th. Confirmation and Sunday school will both be from 9 to 10:15 on Sunday mornings, just before church.
Our summer worship time is also changing back to 10:30 to the fall schedule. The easiest way to remember it is, we change the date on the holiday. We go from 9:30 to 10:30 on Labor Day. Then, on Memorial Day, we go from 10:30 to 9:30.
There are a couple of other changes coming in worship that we could talk about. Many in our church prefer to give their tithes electronically. Responding to the changing way we give, the Session had an idea. Rather than passing the plates, we will leave the offer plates by the door. When the offering comes, we will still listen to beautiful music, still sing the Doxology, and still bring the offering forward.
Also, an important part of our faith and worship is reconciliation. Many have missed the passing of the peace. Beginning in September, the passing of the peace will return. It may take some trial and error to decide how and when in the service we will do this, but the Church has been worshiping for almost 2000 years. We can figure this out in a way that is meaningful and contributes to the overall flow of the service.
I am grateful for where we are as a church. It is a challenging time for all congregations. God has a history of greatly blessing this church for generations. God continues to bless us together. As fall comes we head back to more regular schedules and church attendance, we have much to celebrate together.