August and September

 
If you have asked me any time since July how I’m doing or what’s going on with me, I probably said something like, “Good, a little stressed. Getting ready for fall is my busiest time of year.”
 

Today, “getting ready for fall” season is officially over and “actual fall” season has begun! Genesis, Chi Rho, and CYF youth groups have all had their kickoff events, our youth have been promoted and blessed into their new school year, and our new “Sunday School Central” program is one Sunday down!

I can’t really believe how quickly August and September have flown by (how can it be the 19th already?), but it makes more sense when I scroll through the pictures in my phone! In the months of August and September, we have had our Camp Sunday, Backpack Blessing, and Ice cream social, Community Family Move Night, wrapping up of summer Sunday School, a class for 3rd graders and their parents in preparation for receiving their new Bibles, the Labor Day parade, kickoff events for all 3 of our youth groups, Youth Promotion Sunday, and finally the launch day of Sunday School Central! As I type all of this, I really can’t believe that this has all happened within the last month. It’s been fast, full, and so joyful to have watched people experience these moments together.

 

Our church’s mission is Growing Authentic Relationships Through Christ. In the past month, I have truly been able to see this mission in action through our people. My goal for our youth groups this year is to create a place where everyone can come, just as they are, and be welcomed into a community. A community of inclusiveness, that can be silly and serious together, that can learn together and challenge each other, yet also support and unconditionally love each other.
 

I’ve heard the term “thin place” to describe a moment when God’s presence is felt so strongly, it feels like the thinnest of spaces between heaven and earth. Here are some thin places I’ve experienced this last month:

  • During Family Movie Night, kids who barely knew each other were giggling and running together up and down the sanctuary aisles. While the kids bonded through play, their parents bonded through conversation.
  • The last two weeks of Summer Sunday School, special guests came to teach the kids about their passions of gardening and visiting the sick. We focused on stewardship this summer, and not only did our special guests teach the kids about different ways to be stewards, they may have also helped them discover new passions for themselves. As the kids grow up and develop their passions, they’ll have adults they can turn to for guidance and to share the experience.
  • Only one family attended our class for 3rd graders receiving their Bibles, but I had a wonderful time getting to know that family better. Two weeks later when presenting the Bibles, I felt close to that family and proud of them for the milestone they were celebrating that day.
  • Sitting near the Pray Ground on Promotion Sunday, I had a perfect view of the kids being engaged in worship in their own way – through play. I watched two little girls become friends over coloring pages and Play Doh. And I watched the kids do a wonderful job cleaning up their messes after only a friendly reminder from me at the beginning of the service.
  • Watching a handful of young children get so excited to be part of the “Adventures of the Pro” skit that was performed on the last XGen Sunday. They have so much joy and zest for life at that age and it’s beautiful!
  • Spending time with our youth at all 3 youth group kickoffs. Specifically, watching the kids play at the park. I am a hard worker and an achiever, and encouraging kids to play does not come naturally to me. By default, I always want to do stuff – service projects, devotions, structured activities. But maybe our kids’ lives are busy and structured enough, and maybe what they need is time to play and just be.
  • The first day of Sunday School Central: 3-year-olds excited about coming to Sunday school for the first time, new teachers meeting their students, old teachers excited to see the kids again, the creativity of our Central Time station leaders, our high schoolers excited about spending the last 30 minutes in worship and hearing the sermon.

 

I look forward to what is to come this year. I look forward to continuing to build relationships and watching them unfold. I look forward to seeing what God does through the power of community and unconditional love. I invite you to come on this journey! Sunday School Central continues this Sunday (9:00-10:30 for 1st service attendees; 10:00-11:30 for 2nd service), our youth groups will meet once a month throughout the school year (Genesis on the 2nd Sunday, Chi Rho on the 3rd, high school on the 4th). Beginning next month will be baptism classes for youth in 5th grade and up and adults, and October 29 will be our annual Pet Blessing and Fall Fun Festival. So much to look forward to and so many opportunities to build relationships and grow closer to God! It is going to be a great year!

 


2 Responses to “August and September”

  1. Kay McGlinchey says:

    Thanks for the great job you are doing Allison. Enjoyed being in the garden with the kids talking about stewardship. 🙂

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