As I was thinking of summer coming to a close (sad for those of us who LOVE summer), this song lyric from Peaches & Herb came to mind. I don’t know who Peaches & Herb are, and I don’t know any more of the song lyrics than this, so why this lyric?
Two reasons: First, summer is usually a time for family reunions. Who went to one this summer? I always enjoy getting together with my mom’s side of the family, seeing my aunts and uncles and cousins. The reunion typically takes place at the end of July, includes A LOT of food (potluck-style), and includes BINGO! BINGO! BINGO! It also includes coffee, Diet Mountain Dew, softball, games of horseshoe, and plenty of loud laughter. It’s always refreshing when family can get together and celebrate happy occasions.
The second reason? Rally Sunday is coming…on September 9 to be exact…harkening the beginning again of Sunday school and Faith Matters, our education hour. The church year begins again with two services at 8:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., instead of one at 9:30 a.m. It seems to be a time for our church family to “reunite,” yet again.
As the church, the body of Christ, we truly need each other. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:12-26, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ…If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it” (emphasis on verses 12 and 26, NRSV). Every person who is a part of this body has a gift, a talent, a purpose. God has wonderfully and uniquely created you. You have something to offer, and this body would hurt without it—and you.
I challenge you to ask yourself these questions: What do I like to do? How do I spend my time? What brings me joy, energizes and excites me?
Whatever it is that you answer, please consider how this could be used to build up the body of Christ, to reach out to your neighbors, to help someone who could use a hand.
A couple of ways are taking shape for you to be involved this fall. If you are a good listener and would like to visit with those who are physically not able to make it to Sunday worship services, please consider being a part of a group that will do this. Plans of forming this group are taking shape. Be on the lookout for more information on this venture in the future.
Another way is to consider being a prayer mentor. New Member Sunday is October 7, and we are thankful for those who wish to be a part of this body! To welcome them, informational gathering times are being scheduled in September for new members to get to know one another, as well as for them to get to know House of Prayer, and for this community to get to know them. Prayer is vital, like breathing, and what an amazing opportunity it would be to consistently pray for our new members.
Starting somewhere new can be a little scary, especially if it’s a place where everyone already knows each other. I remember when I started at Luther Seminary, after having taken classes at Bethel Seminary. I was kind of a “Lone Ranger,” as the Luther community already knew one another. But, one of the things that helped ease the transition was an event called First Week, when new students participated in different groups, connecting with one another. And, seminarians really aren’t all THAT scary.
I remember when I first visited House of Prayer, I felt so very welcomed! And I am so very thankful for the continued warmth from all of you! As I like to say, WARM FUZZIES! This community is truly blessed to be a blessing, and you all will continue to be a blessing to those who walk through the doors of this church building and to the community outside of these walls that we each encounter on a daily basis.