Yes, today is the first day of fall! And this week’s wonderful weather has been the perfect harbinger for my favorite season. Of course, it’s also a very holy time of year—for it includes the High Holy Days of Judaism, beginning with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur. I’ve always loved these ten Days of Awe and their wonderful Good News themes of repentance and return. Thus, this Sunday, I’ll be preaching on teshuvah, the Hebrew word translated as “repent” (but which really means “to turn around”). Since none of us is perfect, we continually “miss the mark” (i.e. “sin”). Therefore, we have ample need to repent, ask forgiveness, make amends, and return to God. This process of teshuvah or “turning around” may sound simple, but it’s never easy. And yet, it fully informed the teachings of Jesus and can powerfully transform our lives as Christians. Come Sunday, and I’ll tell you more!
As we move into the fall season, there are many wonderful opportunities to get involved at CPC, such as mission work, fellowship events, children & youth programming, and adult faith exploration & spiritual practice. Two weeks ago I met with the Adult Programs Committee to make plans for a Spiritual Retreat (9/29), two Coffee Hour Sharings (10/21 & 11/18) and a Dinner & Movie Evening (11/9). This week I met with our Mission Committee, which had the pleasurable task of allocating over $9000 to deserving organizations, plus preparing for the Community Clean Up (10/7), AIDS Walk (10/27) and MLK Service Day (1/21). Next week I’ll meet with the Youth Programs Committee as they continue to plan activities for our middle & high school youth—including a Haunted House at the upcoming CPC Community Fall Festival (10/27). You can find all these and more events on our Fall Calendar (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or pick up a copy at church) or on our “about to be launched” brand new version of the CPC website, www.cpcchurch.org.
Of course, fall is also an excellent time to reach out to everyone who might benefit from and enjoy being part of our congregation (but who may not know that we’re here!). Thus, the New Member Committee and I will host a Visitor Inquiry Session after church on 10/14, followed by the Blessing of the Animals, which welcomes all pets and their people. Please invite friends and neighbors to both these events as well as to the Community Fall Festival on 10/27.
Finally, even as we reach out to newcomers, let us not forget one another, especially those who come to church alone. I encourage you to make a special effort each Sunday during Coffee Hour to engage someone you may not already know. Such a small gesture of kindness can mean a great deal (and is essential to our mission of nurturing love of God and love of neighbor in the world…).
This month we celebrate the following birthdays (and congregation members):
Cole Osborne, 9/4
Howard Hyde, 9/8
Nick Lindsey Clark, 9/14
Ken Moon, 9/18
Matt Smythe, 9/19
Emily Lanza, 9/20
Noemi Cassel, 9/27
Mary Kurtz, 9/27
Blessings to you and yours,