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A Letter from Pastor Mary


 

September 2017

 

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

 

As I write, the copier is kicking out the bulletin, the vacuum cleaner is running, and the preschool staff is busily hanging name tags in the hallway. Today is the first day of school in our school district, and I am just off the phone ordering lunch for our full staff. We are at an all-time high number of staff members – twelve of us will be working here this year. It’s Biblical! Twelve staff – twelve disciples – twelve tribes of Israel! (It’s the preschool staff that has expanded so we can accommodate our record number of 60 students!) We are open and ready for business!

Not that we ever were closed. But alongside all the worship and day-to-day work of the church, lots of special things were going on. You may have heard that I was on Sabbatical this past spring and summer, and while I was gone, Pastor Dick Sebeniecher made sure that all the pastoral bases were covered. Divine worship carried on, uninterrupted. Preschool graduation took place, the rummage sale came and went, and several of our kids went to camp. Meanwhile, worker bees laid painted our offices and laid new flooring, then more worker bees came and replaced the ceilings and lights in the hallway, classrooms, fellowship hall, kitchen, and library. More worker bees came and cleaned up all the construction mess, then more work was done when all the “regular” (i.e., not stained glass) windows were replaced. The Preschool budget paid the bulk of the bill for the windows through a grant they received for improvements to our facility, and the church coffers covered the balance, only about 1/3 of the final cost.

We had a gift of a new sign by the front door, which is now lit at night. The front entrance way was cleaned up and made more inviting. The landscaping around the church and by the driveway has been tenderly cared for through the hot dry summer and it is looking good! We are indebted to all the “worker bees” who volunteered time to organize, clean, and tend to each of these various tasks. Wow! It all looks great!

Is it all just window dressing, so to speak? No. For one thing, it’s stewardship. We inherited from congregations of the past a home that requires care if we will be able to pass it to congregations of the future. Our new windows and tight ceiling add up to better use of our heating and cooling moneys. We want to leak love, not heat!

And it’s hospitality. The fresh, clean appearance of the church is an important piece of our outreach, because it makes people feel welcome and comfortable here. The community comes to our church every day of the week, whether to drop a child off for school, or enjoy ice cream at the ice cream social or shop the rummage sale. We have guests and members at our Friday potlucks and our midweek coffee groups.

Finally, it’s evangelism. When people come to us, we can share the good news: God loves you! Our building tells everyone who comes here, this is a congregation who cares! We care about our property – we care about you, too! Come back and let us show you how much!

Friends, if you haven’t been to church in a while, come see the great work that’s been done on our building! And use this new school year as an opportunity to come back to church – as we all enjoy a fresh, clean start into a new season of the year, make it a fresh, clean start to a new season in our lives!

See you Sunday!

Mary

The Rev. Dr. Mary N Pugh, Pastor