FROM THE PASTOR’S PEN: “Fall Celebrations and Opportunities”
As I looked over the calendar and thought about an appropriate theme for this month’s message, I decided to take a “shotgun” approach and invite you to reflect on the many things going on and how we can get involved.
World Communion Sunday – As noted elsewhere, Sunday, October 2, we will celebrate World Communion Sunday by hosting Hugh and Teena Anderson, who will share the story of their work teaching English in China. World Communion Sunday is a great time to focus on world mission and how people far away and from very different cultures are also children of God and our brothers and sisters in Christ. Another tradition we have enjoyed for many years is following worship with a potluck meal that boasts an international theme. Plan to come and bring a main dish or salad (and if possible give it the flavor of a different country). Desserts and drinks will be provided.
Burning the Mortgage – Thanks to the faithful stewardship and generous memorial gifts of many, we have made our final mortgage payment for the Church remodel and building project of 2005. On Sunday, October 9, we will “Burn the Mortgage” during our fellowship time. While it is great to be free from that financial obligation, it is important to remember that both the building and the programs of our congregation depend on continued stewardship.
2017 Stewardship Drive – This year we are not having a formal “Budget Social” and we haven’t prepared a brochure. Stewardship is very important though. The 2017 budget is included in this Messenger and the Budget and Finance Committee will be ready to answer any questions after our special fellowship time on October 9. We hope that those who have made pledges to the “Building Fund” will be able to shift that generosity to their main pledge so that we will be able to fully fund our budget this coming year.
Roofing the Sanctuary – If October were not already busy enough, toward the end of the month Red Sky Roofing will be putting a new roof over the sanctuary and choir room. The roof is over 22 years old and we have noticed shingles breaking off. Two years ago we patched a small leak on the east side of the sanctuary and during our exterior painting it was noted that the fascia on the north peak of the sanctuary roof is exposed to the elements. All of these concerns will be fixed with funds currently available in a reserve fund set aside for this purpose. We also hope that some of the costs will be provided through a Barnabas Grant from our Presbytery. This is another illustration of faithful stewardship, both in the provision of those who enabled us to save up for these needed repairs, and also in the action of our Presbytery and Session to ensure that the wonderful building we enjoy will be sound and in good shape for years to come.
Planning for the Future – In this Messenger you will find an invitation to an “End-of-Life Planning Workshop” provided by Coastal Home Health & Hospice and Oregon Department of Human Services, and hosted by our church. The workshop will help participants understand the many and complex issues and decisions facing all of us when we recognize our mortality. Legal forms will be available and their uses and differences will be explained. When we remember that we are all mortal, not just those under hospice care, this workshop may also be seen as an act of stewardship, as we number our days and make decisions that reflect our faith and may protect our estate for our heirs.
Recognizing God’s Blessings and Giving Thanks – How are all these events and opportunities related? You may not think they are, but they may also be a reminder of how richly God has blessed us, and how every opportunity, like every moment, is a gift from God. Stewardship is not just about giving but about living - as peacemakers, as stewards of talent and money, and as even as stewards of our days as we remember that each moment of life is a gift from God, and we should live for God’s glory both in how we live and how we die. Join us at worship this month as we continue our reflection on the Apostles’ Creed and consider how our faith influences the way we view the world, our lives, and the future.
In Christ’s Service, David