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Pastor Gayle’s Reflections
Is it really September already?!?
It always seems to creep up on us quickly, more so this year than many. This is due in part to the very active summer we’ve had. Many folks have traveled for vacation and family events. I traveled to our denomination’s General Synod in June. Some folks helped out with Vacation Bible School at Redeemer of Calvary United Methodist Church early in the summer. Wednesdays in July were a time of fellowship and learning, connecting food and faith, along with folks from Eden UCC and Redeemer. Janis Gooday and I worked with a handful of folks from the neighborhood, spearheaded by Rev. Jacki Belile of Eden UCC, on the new group Bridging Jefferson Park, Neighbors: Past, Present, and Future. We helped staff a booth for the group at Jeff Fest, while many others helped staff the beer tent for tips. All the while, major work was done on the church building, as the exterior woodwork received a much-needed facelift, the concrete base and roofing of the steeple/cupola was repaired, and the boiler room got a new door and rehabbed stairs.
But the fellowship, fun, and efforts are just ramping up to our big fall celebration – the London Avenue Neighborhood Block Party. A flyer elsewhere in the ECHO has more details, but suffice it to say that Saturday, September 14, will be a day of great fellowship and giving back to our neighbors for all the support they’ve given us in the last year. Our neighbors stepped up to help us when we found ourselves in need of a new boiler, and many have commented on how great the church building looks with the new paint. The Block Party will be a great time to connect and reconnect with the residents of this neighborhood whose name we bear!
Rally Day will be the day after the Block Party, Sunday, September 15, with a pancake breakfast (starting at 8:30AM), and choir rehearsal (9:30AM), before worship begins at 11AM. People of all ages are invited to join together in intergenerational worship, which will include the return of the choir, praying and singing together, and a special rite. The rite is the Blessing of Backpacks & Briefcases. Whether you’re a kid or a teacher going back to school, someone continuing to go to work every day, or even a retiree, bring your backpack, your briefcase, your purse, your toolbox, or whatever else you carry with you on a regular basis, and participate in this rite of blessing, as a sign that our congregation, your faith, and God go with you through all you do, even when you aren’t at church. It is a day to RALLY together for worship and fellowship! Join in greeting old friends and new friends.
Let’s show our neighborhood who we are and why we are. Rally as God’s people, doing the best we can to nurture people and community by sharing our faith and having fun!
May our hearts be open to God and God’s people!