Well, I suppose it was inevitable, even in the one thousand degree days of August; autumn is making it's arrival known. Exhibit "A" is this leaf that I photographed in the back yard. Exhibit "B" was a relatively cool evening in which Alice and I ate supper on the front porch watching traffic zoom by and the sun set to brilliant colors in the West. Exhibit "C" the baseball schedule is winding down.
It's interesting how each season has a feel to it. With spring there is the hopefulness of brighter days, brilliant colors, the greening of relation. Summer, well summer is just hot. But air conditioning is awesome and the baseball is plentiful. There are moments for rest and renewal. Autumn brings the pleasant prospect of cooler days, more beautiful colors, and a re-turn to a routine if you will. Schools are in session, there is planning for our Charge Conference, dinners re-turn, and there are fun activities like the Fall Festival, Aloha Sunday, and the BBQ.
Autumn also brings change. The days do get shorter, and the passage of time becomes more evident as we approach major holidays. September becomes that key month of transition because change is in our midst.
We definitely bid farewell to summer, and we bid hello to autumn. As we plan our church calendar, I think you will notice that we have some meaningful events scheduled to draw our community together for worship, fellowship, and missions.
The return of the Wednesday Night Dinners provides our community with a unique opportunity for fellowship beyond Sunday morning. Once again we have that chance to gather once a week around a table to eat and share. If you know a friend or neighbor that really needs support and love of a community, an invitation to Wednesday Night dinner provides a wonderful setting for the guest to see us as we really are...a family.
The special events also provide us the chance to get together, to share a meal, and have fun! And yes, the special events also provide for the invitational moment for us to invite a friend, co-worker, or neighbor who could benefit from a loving community. These events beyond Sunday morning are important because our faith work is a seven day a week endeavor. Being a Christian is so much more than one hour on Sunday proposition.
So hopefully you, gentle reader, are picking up on a very important theme that I hold close. A church, that is the local church, Chestnut Memorial Church, is a community bound together in the name of Jesus Christ., We are in fact a family.
Now I know what you are thinking, because we all have a family, sometimes families don't see eye to eye. Sometimes families have different passions or positions. Sometimes families even hurt each other. But I want to stress that a church family, Chestnut Memorial Church, is a family bound together through the love, grace and hope found in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone.
We are all different. As different as the autumn leaves. But we are all bound together by a grace and a love that comes only from Jesus Christ, God's only Son. Because of that we are still a church family even though we may have different priorities in our service. Or have different gifts, or are passionate about different things. Because in the end there is still one Jesus Christ.
We all have to live in a world that is changing. And change affects us all differently. And some-times change can alarm us like a bright yellow leaf of a very green tree in the middle of August. No matter the season, it is vital that we remember who we are. We are Chestnut Memorial United Methodist Church. We have been around for a long time, have seen lots of changes and still reach out in love as we grow and are rooted in our faith. So welcome to September! I look forward to growing together this fall!