Summer's Ends Means New Beginnings

Yes, the calendar says August. August means getting in final vacation days, readying for the coming school year, purchasing supplies and new outfits. Our graduates soon will be off to college or technical school or to a new job. Fall will bring many changes in households. Nostalgia for what has been and excitement for what lies ahead coexist in our hearts.

Your pastors and staff are putting energy into Rally Sunday when our children are back in Sunday School, choirs will be restarting, and our worship numbers will grow again. I hope you have some anticipation for that. As the Psalmist wrote when going up to Jerusalem to see the Temple, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘let us go to the house of the Lord.’” His anticipation caused him to say, “My feet are already standing within thy gates.” Maybe you never missed a summer Sunday, but if you have, soon your feet will take you to the sanctuaries of Mount Olivet to find your familiar seating, and see familiar faces. Here you will have an encounter with the Holy One, the Gracious One. The One who gladdens hearts, the One who renews and strengthens his people. Anticipate it.

Membership is a privilege and “membership has its privileges.” Yes, you get to love, you get to give, you get to serve. You get to be a partner with the Creator of the Universe in shaping your life and your future. You get to build up your church – an institution that will be here after you are gone. You are a Kingdom Builder.

During the past few years, we have used a covenant when receiving new members. It is a simple reminder of what the church will do for you and what you may do for the church. We will be using that during September worship services for all members, reminding us of the privileges we have in our life together. We are going to have a great year.

I hope you had a great summer that included time away and refreshment. Carol and I enjoyed time with family and we had a wonderful week at Cathedral of the Pines! Come September, I will be renewed, refreshed, and ready to serve. “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play.” Hoping you are, also!

Pastor Dennis J. Johnson