Pastoral Post 9.29.2016

(This post was also printed in this week’s First Words.)

 October is here! We are beginning to feel a bit of it in the air. Leaves are already turning and falling. And it’s another busy month at First Church…..a month of opportunities!

 This Sunday we celebrate World Communion Sunday, a day to be especially aware of Christians around the world also sharing the bread and cup of Christ. There is an offering for those so led which supports World Communion Scholarships (at least 50% overseas) and Ethnic Scholarships. At noon on Sunday, hotdogs will be served and then one of the exciting events of the year will take place—unloading the tractor trailer load of pumpkins. It happens in just over an hour, and it is a sight to behold! During the coming weeks we will have school children and families visiting our grounds to buy pumpkins, and many photos will be taken!

 Since it’s October, it’s also time to order chicken pies, which will be prepared on October 21-22. They are great comfort food and excellent for serving guests, and all proceeds go to missions. You can also volunteer to help make them! And keep your eyes open, because if it’s time for pumpkins and pot pies, pecans are coming soon!

 October also means that soon we’ll be focusing on our financial stewardship. We are doing this later this year, and we are striving for a holistic, comprehensive approach to stewardship of all that God has entrusted to us. We’ll begin on October 16 by considering the financial pressures that we face in our society. Then, for 3 more weeks, October 23, November 6, and November 13, we will take a Sunday each to ponder points John Wesley made in regard to money—earn, save, give. Some classes will be studying the book by James Harnish related to Wesley’s teaching. And November 13 will be Commitment Sunday, when we express our financial commitment to the growth of the mission and ministries to the church for 2017. We have dreams we believe God has given us, dreams for enriching lives and making a difference in this world, and your generous giving makes all that possible. We will ponder what it means to be “Giving to Grow.” (On October 30 we will have a special Music Makers program and celebrate All Saints Day.)

 Halloween has become another one of those days we welcome LOTS of people to our grounds, as the Trunk or Treat event takes place outside with hundreds of kids and parents stopping by. They all receive information regarding the church. We need your candy donations—lots of them!

 Weeks ago over 200 boxes were taken to fill for the children of Armenia through Project AGAPE. Nearly 200 have been returned, and we hope the rest will be returned no later than Sunday. We have learned that we still have time to get those missing ones to the pickup point to be shipped for Christmas. Thanks to all who have given. You will put smiles on children’s faces!

 On Wonderful Wednesdays, classes are meeting, a new Connect group is forming, all after a wonderful meal shared together. We are also pleased that the Circles of Hope anti-poverty program is returning to our facilities. The Circles folks will be eating dinner with us and then meeting upstairs. Several of our members volunteer with Circles. If interested, contact me.

So many opportunities…..opportunities for learning, serving, growing. Be involved!

Sandy

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