Ahhhhh…..September: lower humidity with still warm temperatures, sun setting earlier which calls us back to more ‘normal’ bedtimes, and families with children in schools are back on a routine. God’s blessings are evident all around us all the time but in Ohio, September brings the special beauty of change as we transition from summer to fall.
I’ve been thinking about my hopes and dreams for these congregations. We have such loving, welcoming people that we are equipped to greet new folks well. We are dreaming of ways to invite them to come and experience that welcome and love. Once they join us in worship, it is our hope that we can help them connect more closely with Jesus, serve others and grow in their faithfulness. As we grow with them, we all get excited and go out to invite others to come and grow with us. This becomes a cycle of growth in faithfulness for those who have been in these churches for a long time and for those who haven’t joined us yet.
Jesus showed us this model in how he chose the 12 disciples (after much prayer); sent them out to share with others; reviewed with them and walked closely with them until his death and resurrection. Then he gave them the mission of being his witnesses “in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Jesus still gives us that mission today.
As we continue to hear stories of how the disciples spread the good news (gospel)
of Jesus’ love for all people, we see how the early church grew. We hope that we
can open ourselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit and offer the peace and joy
of Jesus to those around us as fervently the early church did. We will find ways
to show care to our neighbors and community that demonstrate our self-