Florence Congregational Church
Thursday, January 18, 2018
A Place to Connect

Pastor Irv’s Corner - September 2014

 

It was nine years ago that Brenda and I pulled into town preparing to settle into the parsonage and community life.  For me the time has passed quickly and brought with it increasing joy at being here and greater familiarity with the traditions, routines and procedures of our church.  I want to thank you for the support, guidance and encouragement you have extended to us in our journey with you.  Together, we forged through the newness of getting to know each other, in work, in worship and in fellowship.

September is upon us!  Signaling the official end of months of leisure, September ushers in a host of “start ups” including the beginning of the school year.  For our church, it is the beginning of many things.  Many of our boards and committees have taken a brief summer break and are now ready to resume their monthly meeting schedule.  The Sunday school is gearing up for another year of bible related teachings and activities.  The Chancel choir takes up rehearsing again in preparation to help lead Sunday worship.  The Ladies Bazaar, which has met all summer, gets in full swing in preparation for their Holiday Bazaar.  Bible study resumes on Wednesday mornings at ten am (September 10th).  I am hopeful to interest you in attending a book study and monthly movie night.

Those of us in the church have a dual role in these activities.  On one hand, we are the beneficiaries of such activities as they help us grow in faith, and wisdom and understanding of God.  On the other hand, they provide opportunities for us to express our faithfulness by making sure activities have enough volunteers to make them happen and by attending the activities offered whenever we can.  In short, our role is that of both giver and receiver, both of which happen in healthy communities. 

The benefits of a healthy church are numerous.  A healthy church will encourage people to grow in faith and to find new expression of their love for God.  It will provide opportunities for people to discuss their faith and experience faith together, openly and with an embracing of the diversity of views that we hold.  A healthy church will encourage people to give as a way of expressing their faith in God and it will encourage people to receive, recognizing such as a gift from God.  A healthy church will reach out to people who need encouragement and support, and it will provide a Christian witness that embraces compassion, justice and mercy.

The church year that is ahead of us is filled with promises of tremendous opportunities and experiences.  Surely, it is something to be celebrated and looked forward to with eager anticipation.  Perhaps you know of someone who would benefit from a personal invitation to worship with us.  Our sense of community and our commitment to building nurturing relationships is too good to keep to ourselves!  It is our obligation to tell others the Good News and about who we are as a community gathered in Christ’ name and of the love and care and joy that is to be found here.

What does the church mean to God?  The church cannot exist without the realization that its primary purpose is to glorify God.  The answer to this question might be more difficult.  After all, could God possibly be interested in the everyday, mundane details of keeping the church up and going?  Is God interested in budgets and nominations to committees and guest preachers and light bills and newsletters?  I believe God is vitally interested in his church, and he leaves the details in our competent hands.  That is part of the partnership we forge in ministry on behalf of our Lord.  It is a partnership that God has established with humanity throughout time.  In this partnership, God asks of us our best in all that we do and all that we are or will become.

As we begin our new church year, let us take some time to remember the church as the place where we glorify God and that our efforts, from the grandest of visions to the most difficult of decisions will make a difference.  September is here.  We invite you to the Homecoming Sunday cookout and activities on September 7th.  We begin with worship at 10, followed by crafts and games for the youth.  We are also joining hearts in attempt to assist the local schools with supplies.  Everyone is asked to bring something for the schools in support of the children (i.e., pencils, glue sticks, crayons, etc).  We will provide the hamburgers and hotdogs, drinks and fixings for the cookout.  Please come.  Bring a neighbor and enjoy.

 

In Christ, Pi

 

 
 

Florence Congregational Church • 130 Pine Street, Florence, Massachusetts 01062 • 413.584.1325
 

 

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