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To the Saints that are in Los Osos,
In this column I want to highlight four of the things that are happening in August.
The first is the requests. As always I’ve received many more requests than I can fit into a month. I’ve chosen three topics as all I’ll be able to do, but I will the keep other topics and hymns in mind and try to use some of them in the later months. I specifically want to lift up the first topic. On August 12 I will lead an “Instructed Service,” where we will talk about how the various parts of the service came to be and came to be included. Hopefully you’ll find this interesting. It will be communion Sunday, so if you’ve wondered why I move my arms in certain ways, things about robes and stoles, hymns and liturgies, this Sunday is for you.
The second thing is that the following Sunday, August 19, will be blessing of the backpacks, and blessing of all teachers. If you have friends who are teachers, please invite them to this service so that we can recognize and thank them for their service.
The third is the August Ingathering. I know that there has been some confusion, so I will try briefly to clear it up. This idea came from our Grow Our Giving Task Force as a way to potentially shrink the large deficit in our budget this year. Almost 40 years ago, while I was associate pastor at La Habra United Methodist Church, my senior pastor saw the success of this program at Anaheim UMC. People were invited to sell items that they no longer used, but still had value… sometimes significant value… and then give the proceeds (or a portion of them) to the church. By this method the people Anaheim UMC raised over $16,000 in one month and celebrated together when they brought their gifts together. We did the program at La Habra UMC. While we didn’t raise as much as the Anaheim church, we still raised a significant amount of money toward the budget.
The fourth thing I want to lift up is the Gathering of the Waters that will happen in our service of worship built around water as part of our annual Season of Creation. Thank you to everyone who has taken water vials to gather water from different places as you travel this summer. If you haven’t yet had a chance to get a vial, there are still plenty left. Please bring your water to church by September 16 so we can prepare for our water Sunday on September 23. At this time I have water from around California and Arizona, but we’re looking forward to water from more ‘far-flung’ travel destinations.
In most of the churches I’ve served over the
years, August is a month when things slow down. Here at Trinity God’s Spirit
continues to flow strongly in the ministries we share together. Be well. May
your vacations renew and refresh you. May the Spirit of God be with you, and
may you continue to strive for the kingdom.
See you in church,