September 2019

One of my favorite times of the church year is the weekend after Labor Day.

Churches tend to move in seasons, and this time between Fall Kick Off and Christmas is a wonderful 1/3 of the year. Excitement brews as we plan and prepare during the summer months. Then the choir

comes back to the chancel, the Order of Worship and Neighbor fills with activities, and as summer travel wanes, more people come back to sit in the pews.

There has been a palpable energy at church this summer; moreso than other summers in my memory here. Many of our visitors have become regular attenders, and attendance has stayed regular and

strong. The addition of Reverend Elizabeth Robinson to our staff, and often having more than one soloist on a given Sunday, probably has much to do with this. Whatever the reason, I am excited about what this year holds for our church.

One event of the summer was the OCC Leadership Retreat, and more about the outcomes will be introduced in months ahead. However, a couple takeaways for me were 1.) that we are on the right track, and want to do a better job of sharing our presence and ministry. This can be through the recording of our worship services (to be shared on social media), word of mouth, and new and creative channels; and 2.) that we deeply desire to keep caring for each other and the world through service, care, justice, and phenomenal worship.

As you can see from this month's Neighbor, the life of our church is speeding up. I look forward to what is ahead of us.

Glad to be on the journey with you,

Jim

* Much gratitude for Tom Norris, Peter Hartdegen, John Creech,