From Alex's Study

 July/August  2017

Dear Church Family,                                    

            We, on the Church Staff, often tease that the pace of life slows down in the summer and that is when we can all catch up on our work. I say “tease” because we all know that we rarely sense any slowing down.

            For sure, some things change in the summer months: Church School ceases on Sunday mornings, youth programs change pace, the choir gets a respite from regular practice and from leading worship, and the Session and most Councils do not meet in July.

            But we keep seeking to nurture faith, build community, grow as God’s people, and serve God in this city all through the summer. Our Monday (Walk-In) Lunch Program is as busy as ever. Prayer groups, planning meetings, the young adult fellowship, Franklin Reding’s Bible class, pastoral care visits, various study and fellowship events, and more, ALL continue with energy and faithfulness. And the church is especially busy this summer with workers in and out of the sanctuary and other parts of our fine building.

            Also, with summer upon us, our weekly Sunday morning WORSHIP becomes all the more important. We are fortunate to have our fabulous Chapel which offers more intimacy and improved acoustics for our music and singing. Kathryn and I continue to give devoted attention to the planning of the service. We hope the sermons and liturgy engage hearts and minds. The summer music – with solos from our favorite musicians – promises to continue to enrich us across the coming weeks. If you are in town, please try to be present. If you are out of town, join us via live-streaming video or watch the delayed broadcast sometime during the week. We want everyone to feel connected to God and our worship at Second.

            And as we move through these days, I offer a few other thoughts.

            We seem to be in a season of growing FEAR, with increasing FATIGUE, and increasing CYNICISM.

            The fear might come from the daily stories of gun violence, or new terror events around the world, or heightened concerns about the political situation, or the groaning environment, or something else. Remember that the foremost instruction from God is this: “Do not be afraid.” God is for us, with us, always prevailing over every challenge and issue.   

            The fatigue may come from the burdens we carry, the innate desire to handle all things on our own, the sense that we are not as strong or able as we used to be. Remember that living in faith means to trust God and to strive to trust God more. It is not all up to us. We seek to love and serve God and then “let go and let God.”          

            The cynicism probably emerges when we get really discouraged – by life’s challenges, by large problems we cannot control, by other issues that overwhelm us. But life is short. And our calling in life is to “Rejoice in the Lord, again I say rejoice.” We do not want the cynicism to steal the few moments we have to celebrate life and enjoy life’s blessings. Remember, God’s Spirit and grace are always at work, and we can be agents of that Spirit and grace.

            As we move through these days and weeks of summer, may God’s love and light shine upon us and fill us with love and light for all things. See you in WORSHIP and around in these  days.