Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Last Sunday, I and Rachael Snow (Chair of Parish Education) met with parents and teens who will be part of the Confirmation program in the coming year.  The purpose was to discuss the shape of the program, and also to find a schedule that would fit the varying needs of families involved.  Talking about these things got complicated.  It's important to explore the reasons why.

The program Rachael and I proposed is broader than years past.  Three parts, we said, make a whole Confirmation program: didactic learning (Bible & doctrine); fun & fellowship; and service projects.  Parents and students felt fine about those three areas.  The trick was to find times when students are available to do those things.  The devil is in these details.

We talked for a long time about how to make this work.  We explored the students' schedules: school, participation in sports teams, other programs (like Boy Scouts), vacation time, etc.  We couldn't find any days and times that would work consistently for all of the four families involved.  After half an hour or so, I wondered if we were going to find a solution to the challenge of how busy lives and church commitments fit together.  I asked, "Do we still need Christian Education for our children?  Is it more trouble than it's worth?  Should we just let it go?"  Parents quickly affirmed that a Confirmation program is valuable and necessary.  But that didn't get us any closer to finding a workable schedule.

Finally, an idea came: we should do Confirmation instruction during the summer.  After sorting through several obstacles, we agreed to try meeting on Sunday evenings, 4:30-6:00 p.m.  We'll begin on July 26, which is the only day we were able to agree on so far.  Before that date arrives, we're going to compare schedules and see what we can come up with for August and beyond.

The challenges we encountered aren't unique to the Confirmation program.  They're a symptom of a sea change in American culture.  A dizzying array of options is available for investing ourselves in meaningful activities.  With so many good things to do, families naturally find ways to create meaning and value that have little to do with the life of the church.  I do not mean to imply that these other options are ungodly.  But we satisfy our spiritual hunger relatively less through the church now than we did a generation ago.  Likewise, the church receives relatively less of our time, energy, and money. The same was true of the previous generation compared to its forebears.  Where is this trend headed?

We face challenging questions: Will there be a Church for the next generation?  Do we still need the Christian Church?  Is it more trouble than it's worth?  Should we just let it go?  Answers to these questions lie not in what we say but in what we do.  The history books will record our actual answers.

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Lessons for Sunday, July 5th
2 Samuel 5:1-10
2 Corinthians 12:2-10
Mark 6:1-13


Wednesday 10:00 a Bible Study

Thursday     6:30 p Men's Night at Lil' Cooperstown

Friday         1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday     10:00 - 11:30 a SOV Choir rehearsal

Sunday       8:30 & 10:30 a Worship
                   Scrip Sunday

Ladies Dinner
Tuesday, July 7th, 6:00 pm
McGrath's Fish House
Please RSVP to Deann

Family Splash Day
Friday, July 10th 11:00am
Magnolia Park 1810 NW 192nd Ave
(behind The Springs Retirement Home, Peets Coffee and Whole foods)

Baby Shower X2
Saturday, July 18th 2:00 - 4:00 pm
For Carla, due July 21st, she is having a baby boy.
For Rachael, due September 14th, she is having a baby girl.
All are invited.

Love INC's Packed with Love Backpack Project
Donations are now being accepted to purchase school supplies and off set the newly required $5 registration fee for Washington County school age children in need of back packs and school supplies for the 2015/2016 school year. Please mark your donations "back pack project". Thank you for your Support. Donations will be accepted the entire month of July.

July Newsletter is now available
(Please note changes; No Wednesday Choir practice for the month of July, Prayers Shawl is not meeting in July)