Dear Church Community,
Suddenly, it’s Autumn! And frost or not (in our case, not) I feel a frisson of cool weather excitement. I haven’t yet replaced my shorts for jeans, but I’m “this” close. I pray the changing season is blessing you with inspiration. But if you’re seeking some…
Did you know? The cells that attach leaves to a tree are called “abscission.” Like scissors (same root, meaning “to cut”), they’re designed to cut the leaf from the tree. As the Autumn days grow colder and shorter, deciduous trees send a chemical signal to their leaves telling them it’s, well, time to leave. Once this message is received, abscission cells begin to form at the base of every leaf stem on the tree. Without this process of letting go, the leaves would be killed when cold winter temperatures freeze the water in them, thus harming the tree. By making leaves fall, abscission saves the tree’s life.
How does this relate to us? We each have things, people, issues, etc. it would behoove us to release. In fact, like the tree and its leaves, hanging on for too long can harm us. So, ask yourself: Is there something I’m holding onto that seems necessary but may actually be hampering my ability to grow?
Our church is stretching and growing. In fact, our soon-to-begin Fall Stewardship Campaign is entitled, Expanding Our Horizons… because we are. We’ve expanded online worship and event participation, increased physical accessibility with our new ADA compliant bathrooms, begun a congregation-wide racial justice audit, and started preparing for hybrid worship services in our soon-to-be reopened sanctuary.
I’m excited about all of this. I’m also curious how best to embrace both the activity & abundance and rest & release aspects of this beautiful season. I think the tension between them is a growing edge for our congregation as we strive to do the right thing by nurturing love of God and neighbor in the world while knowing we can only truly love our neighbor if we love (and nurture) ourselves. Let’s ask: What activities are we called to hold onto/embrace? What might we be called to let go/release?
I hope you’ll join me for some of the Autumn Events listed below, which include both activity & abundance and rest & release.
Love and Blessings,