As summer winds to a close, it will be difficult to say good-bye to hot, humid days, and the time to enjoy the later setting of the sun as the day, at last, cools off. The slower pace of summer is so welcome, but also so fleeting!
Summer should be a time of renewal! Just like a library book we can’t seem to finish by the due date, we appreciate this grace of renewal in our lives. I hope this summer has left you feeling refreshed. Time away, or even just time at home at a more leisurely pace, is a gift that helps us to recharge our batteries.
As we turn from summer to autumn, we again turn up the pace of our lives. Children and young people are beginning a new grade in school. They may have grown an inch or more over the summer months. Travel or reading or working may have reshaped us all in new ways. Even those of us who are older may kick-off the fall “football” season with new ideas or goals for the year ahead.
As people of faith, we look at change in two ways. First, we believe that God and Jesus Christ do not change but are, forever, dependable, steadfast, available to us, and abounding in power and love beyond our imagining.
In Hebrews 13:8 we read this promise: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. We count on God’s constancy in a world of rapid and often unwelcome change.
But, at the same time, we must change or we are not growing into the people God calls us in Jesus Christ to become. Paul writes to the church at Corinth:
We find ourselves this fall at Second UP welcoming changes even as we hold on to what is changeless. As you know, we received a matching grant from the Pittsburgh Presbytery to renovate our large sanctuary not only for worship but for a variety of other uses for our members, families, and the community around us.
We were excited to receive this grant for $46,050. However, we are greatly challenged to match that amount dollar for dollar in order to receive the full grant amount. The programs we offer,— Parents Morning Out, Preschool and Kindergarten classes, Kids’s Club— are growing and need more flexible space.
Over the summer, we have added English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, bringing the need for more flexible spaces for teaching as well. The ESL classes provide a wonderful opportunity to involve us with our international families and neighbors.
We continue to provide We Care Food Pantry assistance to those in need. We work at keeping the surrounding park area and playground attractive and safe. Your Session and pastor are always exploring ways to serve others and to strengthen this congregation.
Please plan to be in worship as often as you can! We all need to plug into the “changeless” each and every week! Worshiping together helps us to stay grounded in the good, and to remain hopeful for the future. We gather to bear one another’s burdens, and to encourage one another along whatever paths our lives are taking.
We are also being called to try and to dare new things. Do consider making a financial gift to help us make the renovations we need in order to keep growing. No amount is too small. Every gift will help.
And do make the gift of yourself by joining us in “enjoying God together” in this new church year!