This fall we have a lot of great things lined up! The Worship Team wanted to explore what it means to be a Christian Community. That’s the over-arching theme this fall as we explore various aspects of our Christian Community including it’s purpose, implications and our own roles and obligations
Our first exploration will be called Beautiful Together. Being in community can be a beautiful thing. When we come together, we create something beautiful. That part of the series kicks off at Alive on the Square on Sunday, August 28th at 10 a.m. You’ll be introduced to our new music director Jennifer Cochran at this annual service on the Medina Square as she will lead us in music with the Gateway Band. You’ll want to wear messy clothes as the theme will be MESS FEST. There will be a lot of interaction and even an act of co-creation as we’ll do some splatter paint. We’ll have lunch provided by the Rotary on the square and a good time being the church together.
Our first-time hosting Operation Homes will be September 5th to 9th with nightly meals and folks sleeping over from 5:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. It will be a busy week.
Our beloved Hobby Horse Preschool school year ramps back up on September 7th. What a wonderful ministry we have. Under Jen’s leadership, we have the full team returning, and we’re looking forward to another year of blessing the lives of preschoolers and their families.
Our bell and adult choirs will begin August 31st, and we’ll have a children’s choir informational meeting on Sunday, September 18th at 9:45 am.
Youth Group will be the first and third Sundays of every month from 4:30-6:00 pm. Youth Group is open to children from 3rd-12th grades. Our men’s group led by Chuck Rihm will be held concurrent with Youth Group. Confirmation for 8th graders will typically be on the 2nd and 4th Sundays.
On September 11th, we’ll have one long rolling worship service. You can come at any given time you’re used to: 8:15/9/10:30, but we will mark the events of 2001 with the ringing of our bell at the times of the attacks. The service will be centered around our bell tower. We will then ordain our member-in-care, Leila Jindra at 3 p.m. that day.
On September 18th, we’ll have CANDIDATE SUNDAY! You’ll finally get to meet the candidate for our Associate Pastor of Youth and Mission position. They will preach at each service, and we’ll vote to accept this candidate following each service. More information will be made available, including a possible meet-the-candidate night.
New Member classes will be held on Mondays, September 19th and 26th at 7 p.m. in the New Library with new members joining on World Communion Sunday, October 2nd.
I’ll also present my doctorate to our association. There will be two opportunities on September 28th to hop on a Zoom call and listen to my presentation of what adaptive leadership is and what some possible futures for the church might look like. It’s an honor to be able to get this message out to our wider UCC community and through the Spire Center, formerly the North East Ohio School Of Ministry.
October brings the second part of our series: The Communion of Sinners. We are beautiful together, yet community is hard. We are challenged to find unity in our diversity and other stresses of living together. We’ll kick off this section with World Communion Sunday on October 2nd, along with the reception of our new members.
Our 50 Year Member Luncheon is scheduled for October 8th.
We’ll have one service on October 23rd for our chili cook off and pumpkin fest! As hard as community can be, it can be pretty tasty, too. So, bring a few dollars and come hungry! We’ll worship and then vote on the chili. Our youth will carve pumpkins.
Our All Saints worship will be on October 30th, where we honor those who have died in the past year.
The third part of our Christian Community theme is Community Harvest and will run the first three Sundays of November. These worship services will be interactive, looking to elicit a response from you. Who do you love? What do you value about this place? What are some possibilities you see for our future? Our fall pledge drive will take place during this time.
Then we’re into Advent! November 27th kicks off the season of waiting. The Children’s pageant will be held on December 11th. Our music Sunday will be one service at 10 a.m. on December 18th. Christmas Eve services will be held on Saturday, December 24th at 6 and 9 p.m. with one pajama service on Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25th at 10 a.m. Come in your PJs and enjoy some hot chocolate while we sing your favorite Christmas carols.
We also have our Accessible to All (A2A) and Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive and Engaged Congregation for Mental Health (WISE) Teams who will be planning various events. The moderators are working with staff for a possible all team retreat sometime toward the end of October. Plus, Jesus Vibes (our Sunday school at the 10:30 service), our Garfield families, and groups like the quilters and bread makers will be busy!
We’re geared up for a vibrant and exciting fall! If you have any questions or would like to help out on any of this, just reach out to me at 330-725-4559 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll point you to the right people. Church is better together, so I hope you’ll join in.
Yours in Christ,