November 1, 2015

Pastor Letter

Greetings in the name of Christ!

The fall season is fully underway. High school homecoming festivities have come and gone. College alumni reunions have been celebrated. Halloween candy has been distributed with great fanfare. Where I’m from in New England, the trees have turned, and the cold air has returned.

These beloved cultural traditions and creation’s seasonal rhythms surround us, and help us to construct our patterns of life. Sometimes, in the beauty of these traditions, we are reminded of deep truths which bind us together. And sometimes, these beautiful traditions hold us back from seeing the path ahead that God is forging for us. Often, my work with today’s church is to help us navigate these waters of beautiful traditions.

Over the past spring and summer, Liz Lindley, our Families Ministries Associate, and I have been listening to our elders, parents, youth and children. We have met and talked and learned together with our Sunday morning teacher’s teams; youth small group leaders; and Groundlings Summer Camp leaders. We have read scripture and prayed. And, we remain in a continued place of listening to hear the Holy Spirit’s guidance for us as we lead today’s church, and as we help to form the future church among and with us.

A large part of that work is recognizing deep shifts in Sunday morning patterns with families (of all size and shapes), and in learning how we worship together as a body of Christ. As we learn and grow, we are ushering in deep growth in the church today and change for the church of years’ past.

Our fall Sunday morning and weekday schedule reflects this deep listening work, and the recognition of change in our larger culture. Our vision is to lead a church where we support faith formation in worship and small groups — all week long — here’s how we support that weekly on our campus for students, children and their caregivers:

  • Sunday mornings: 10-10:30 AM Sunday school for preK-K and 1st-2nd grades. 10:30 – 11 AM Children Choir. Worship for all ages at 8:30, 9:20 & 11 AM.
  • Wednesday evenings: Everyone’s Inn 5:30-7:30 PM (recreation, meal, worship and small groups for all ages)

We are working to lead the church to worship together — all ages, all stages on Sundays. We are working to lead the church to form in small groups where relationships can be developed and nurtured; life can be shared; disciples of Christ can be challenged and formed — throughout the week, and specifically on Wednesday evenings.

This is the hard work of ministry, and yes, we need your prayers. Yes, we need your help. It is the work of the church to nurture disciples of all ages — in worship and small groups. How we do that together impacts the traditions of today and the future of the church tomorrow.

On the journey with you as your sister in Christ,

Pastor Melinda