A New Season
As I write these words in late August, kids and teens are back in school, football teams and marching bands have been practicing for weeks, college students have finally begun attending classes, and the weather these past couple of days has been unseasonably cool--a reminder that a new season of the year is underway. I LOVE the fall--not just the change in the weather, which is always welcome after the heat and humidity of summer, but also the beginning of the school year, and sports seasons, and a new year of ministry. I'm always a little envious of those who crowd the local stores buying notebooks and pens and backpacks, and the college students with their new class schedules. There is excitement in the air, and our community is rife with possibility and potential--for some there is the excitement of new things to learn, perhaps a new school, new friends to meet; for others the beginning of the fall means another chance to try to do better, to work harder, to get better grades, to make the team, to win more games...you get the idea.
For those of us who lead worship, the official start of the liturgical year is still a few months away--the traditional church calendar begins with the first Sunday of Advent--but we've already begun thinking about Advent and Christmas, and all that will come before. This fall, we begin a new ministry year with a new Sunday schedule that is very exciting--after a great summer (the "Best Summer Ever") we are returning to two worship services (traditional and contemporary), but with a new twist--between those services, we will have the Connect Group Hour--an opportunity for adults to meet in age-based groups for fellowship and discussion and, well, connections. This will happen while our children and teens are in their programs, and they will be welcomed into the worship center to worship with their families.
There will be other changes in worship. We will be bringing elements of liturgy into each of our services, from the traditional church liturgical calendar, and we will be adding weekly celebration of Communion (a.k.a., the Lord's Supper, or the Eucharist) at the conclusion of each worship service--a wonderful reminder that we are all part of one body, gathered at one table, serving one Lord, connected through a common faith and baptism. In all of this we are praying that we will see the unity of the Spirit and the bond of love growing and strengthening among us, equipping us to love God and love other people, and serve both God and others wholeheartedly.
And...there will be coffee.
I'm looking forward to this new season in the life of our church. I hope you are, too.