As we head into October the life of the church is back in full swing.  The choir loft is full, the Sunday school is overflowing, and it’s wonderful to see so many familiar faces back in the pews.  Our community has much to celebrate as we head into autumn and much to do as we continue on our journey together. Here are just a few of changes and opportunities I would like to highlight.

  • If you haven’t been downstairs to see the freshly painted, newly renovated kitchen, please stop by and take a look.  Better yet, volunteer to provide refreshments for Fellowship Hour or to help with Take and Eat, and experience first hand just how lovely and efficient the space has become. Many thanks to the West family and the small army of volunteers who made this possible. 

  • Once again the Fall Festival was amazing. Pierogies! Pies! The annual face off between the tools and the jewels. Under the direction of Rick and Debbie Ward and thanks to the creativity and devotion of countless members and friends, this event has grown in just three short years into a wonderful community wide celebration. A big, big thank you to everyone who participated.

  • We had a variety of church members participate in some very powerful short-term missions projects over the summer. This has been a long-term goal of both our youth and missions programs and would not have been possible without the faith and hard work of a whole host of people working together. At the end of this month (October 27th) we’ll be gathering after church to enjoy a light meal together and hear about their “Summer of Service” in Haiti and Appalachia. Please join us.

  • Chip Roughton, our ministerial intern, is hard at work connecting with congregants and helping them connect with each other. He’s developing a variety of opportunities to create “church outside of church”: be it a discussion group before worship, a Bible study at the local coffee shop, or a little theology on tap at the local bar. Introduce yourself to Chip and let him know what sorts of opportunities would be of interest you.

  • Our O&A Task force and Associate Pastor Task force have been hard at work throughout the summer and will have some presentations and learning opportunities coming up soon. 

  • Due to some miscommunication and a lack of diversity amongst those who volunteered, we needed to regroup and reconsider how best to move forward with our plans to hire a coach and launch a Visioning Task Force. At our special meeting on September 22, we voted to proceed by hiring the Rev. Peter Wells to lead us in a day long visioning process this coming November 16, from 9-3 (more details to follow). Rev. Wells will continue to work with us over the next 6 months to refine and implement our collective vision for the future of First Church. We hope you can come.

A year ago this month, I wrote about our church being at a crossroads both literally and figuratively. We were clearly entering into a state of transition back then and it would seem that we are deep in the midst of that transition right now. As we continue to move forward let us do so with patience, open minds, and open hearts. 

Yours in faith,
Pastor Sarah