Fall Arrives with a Bounty of Faithfulness!

Every October, I am reminded of one of my favorite poems, “Ode to Autumn,” by John Keats:

“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
close bosom friend of the maturing sun,
conspiring with him how to load and bless with fruit the vines ...”

Yes, fall arrives with its fruitfulness. In the church, it is the fruitfulness that follows our Stewardship response. Thank you! For Mount Olivet, it is the fruitfulness of 97 years of congregational life and celebrating our many ministries: Careview Home, Mount Olivet Home, Rolling Acres, Cathedral of the Pines, the Conference & Retreat Center, Day Services, and our Counseling Service. This is the bounty of faithfulness!

And there will be more as we approach our centennial in 2020. And there is the ongoing fruitfulness in the lives of our members. All of this and salvation, too. Salvation and salve have a common root. Salve is for healing. Salvation means wholeness of mind, body, and spirit. The gospel is an instrument of our health. “Praise to the Lord for he is our health and salvation.” Not the assurance provided by faith healers or wealth and health preachers, but faith as a guarantee that illness will not separate us from God’s love. Faith, thus understood, can be a tremendous resource.

Mental Health Sunday will be observed in October. So what are the qualities produced by faith that can help us in recovery from both mental and physical disease? Praise and thanksgiving, repentance, forgiveness of self and others, realistic optimism, hope, finding meaning in life, doing for others, prayer and meditation, generosity and above all, loving. All of these contribute to healthy living – along with diet, exercise and the aid of health professionals.

That is why I feel so strongly about seeing you in worship.
We will explore some of these themes during the month of October – it will contribute to fruitfulness in your life. God is conspiring to “load and bless” us.

Pastor Dennis J. Johnson
Interim Senior Pastor