In recognition of the fact that we are the church all year around, I will not say “welcome back!” Do let me, though, encourage each of you to look forward to the beginning of a new program year, beginning with the first day of Sunday School, the fall picnic, and the return to worship in the sanctuary; all of these things take place on September 8. Let me also highlight some of what has taken place this summer and that which is coming in the near future.
The summer has not exactly been quiet in the building. The Westminster Room has been beautifully renovated and so has the RPNS playground. Both look terrific! Come by and see both and look for announcements for the dedication of each as we thank the Jamisons for their contributions to the Westminster Room and dedicate the playground to Cherie Flood for her long service to the school.
One of the things that I have always been proud of in the Presbyterian Church is the leadership and dedication of its lay leaders. We will especially be calling on the Christian Education Committee for that kind of leadership this fall. We have not yet found a new Christian Education Director and thus the committee will be directing the Sunday School. We thank them for this extra effort, and they fully intend that things will go seamlessly. But let that thanks not only be verbal; help in any way you can to make this program go as well as it has in the past. Our youth and children are important to the church; let’s show it with our time and talents. Teach, if you can. Volunteer where you can. Be a leader and be a good follower, too.
The Pastor Nominating Committee has been hard at work since their election last fall and I feel that it is safe to say that they will be able to conclude their work this fall. That will be a time to rejoice. But it will also mean a new sort of transition and an opportunity for renewed efforts. It is the chance for all of you to help move the church some more steps forward in the things that you have said in last year’s Mission Study are important, and that God is calling this church to be.
There will also be a new set of adult education offerings this fall. Dan will announce his shortly. At the outset I will offer a three-part study on the Sermon on the Mount in September and October. This is in response to the Session initiative for RPC to look closely at the issue of violence and what our response needs to be. The heart of the Christian understanding of our stance to violence, and to living peaceably as God would have us live, is in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). What he said there has been extremely important in thinking about violence in the modern world; it is at the center of thinkers and doers such as Leo Tolstoy, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King. As we work through this text, I hope we will be able to consider how these people have read it, and what they may have to say to us about actually living it. For it is not just a good idea; it was meant as a key to living well.
Much is coming. Show much energy.