Pastoral Ponderings – September 2022

Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence.”   ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 (God’s Word Translation)

Breathe in. (You can do this…) Breathe out. (You are not alone…) Breathe in. (You can do this…) Breathe out. (You are not alone…)

School is back in session, and for families, that can mean a busy calendar. Practices for sports, rehearsals for music, games and concerts, Scouts, and everything else that has taken the summer off. Church is no different. The difference this year, is that for the last 2 1/2 years, we have had very little on our calendar, thanks to the pandemic. But as life moves through that in into the post-COVID reality, Faith UCC finds our calendar filling up quickly! We have much happening in and around our churches (First Christian included!) and that fills my heart with joy!

First, let’s start with our worship time change. Beginning September 11, we will move to our non-summer hours. However, instead of moving back to our “normal” 10:30, we will move to 11:00. This will allow First Christian to move their worship service from Saturday evening to Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. In between those times, from 10:10-10:50 a.m., we will hold combined All Ages Sunday School, Adult Sunday School, and Fellowship Time. All Ages Sunday School will be similar to what we have done for our Messy Church VBS, beginning in the sanctuary for the story and singing, and moving into the Fellowship Hall for activities. Also in the Fellowship Hall, on the side closest to Pastor Linda’s office, we will have our Adult Sunday School. Fellowship time will be where the activities are for All Ages Sunday School. At 10:40 a.m., choir will begin to rehearse in the choir room.

I know this sounds busy, and it will be! And I am not sure if the space will work, but we are going to give it a try! If it doesn’t work, then we will figure something else out! This is exciting for both Faith UCC and First Christian, as we are moving forward in what God is calling us to do and be, and that is truly two churches who believe in putting our FAITH FIRST.

Following worship on September 11, we will hold a brief congregational meeting to discuss expenditures for the parsonage bathroom. The background is that the tub is breaking down and is in need of replacement. The ceiling has had mold since we moved in 9 years ago, despite painting it with KILZ paint several times over those 9 years. Between those two things, we will end up replacing the flooring as well. Council will be asking for the approval of $5000 to cover material, labor, as well as anything that might come up that is unforeseen. Please try to join us for that meeting.

Sunday, September 18 will be our final All Ages Messy Church Vacation Bible School from 4-6:30 p.m. “Love Our World.” We will have sandwiches and chips for supper.

Saturday, September 24 we have our Fall Spectacular Vendor Fair! We will need volunteers to help set up, welcome people, and clean up/set up for Sunday. (See below) There will be a volunteer sheet out in Fellowship Hall.

The next day, Sunday, September 25, we will host the Eastern Iowa Association Fall Annual Meeting. Pastors and lay people from all the Eastern Iowa Association will be coming for an hour of education (2-3 p.m.), then the meeting and sharing Holy Communion (3:15-4:30), and finally a meal (4:45-5:30). I will need a few people to help with the catered meal. Again, there will be a sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall.

(This doesn’t affect Faith, but then on Tuesday, September 27, I will be hosting a potluck Clergy gathering at Tabor Farm Vineyard and Winery in Baldwin.)

Yes, this makes for a busy calendar, but after so long of not being busy, my heart is so full! I do pray you will join for at least a few of these ministries with us!

~ Always Peace,   Pastor Heidi