Autumn in New England is amazing. The air grows crisp and cool. The blue sky deepens into cobalt. The sunlight blinds us, with the lengthening shadows of the sun’s sinking arc. The trees colorfully peak before bowing to winter’s encroaching baldness. Through morning mists, first a few leaves drop, then bunches, then a deluge. Autumn whistles in the wind like some pleasant fellow, well-satisfied with life’s ripeness. Unlike those who only see winter looming in autumn, I accept autumn on its own terms. Fall is not when “everything dies,” as some have it, but when the world rounds out with color, sound, vigor and new promise.
We experience something like this in the church. So much of vitality reasserts itself this time of year. Our choirs return and bring musical gifts of grace, awe and wonder. Our study of the faith—both young and older–reminds us anew how we belong to God and to one another. Our mission trip to the Dominican Republic had its first meeting last Monday. Stewardship will help us take inventory of our blessings, and invite us into the joy of giving. We had upwards of a couple hundred worshippers last Sunday. It feels how the church should feel.
But we don’t want to leave anyone behind, do we? We do well to notice those needing a friendly welcome to be here. Or those who are physically here but feel alone off to the side.
Maybe someone you know has been ill and unable to see his or her way clear to attend worship. Help us to know of this, for we are not clairvoyant. Unless the faith community mobilizes itself to reach out to one another, we cannot know the contacts that should be made, the needs awaiting attention, and the hurt yearning for the healing touch of Christ. We’ve been calling a lot of prospective members lately. But what about existing members?
If you know of someone desirous of a call–or if you yourself would like a visit–simply let me know. We seek always to be caring and concerned, to connect with each other as the body of Christ. But when we don’t know of specific needs, we cannot even attempt this lofty charge. So please phone the church and tell us of that someone who needs a visit or that you yourself would like to talk. The staff and I promise to follow up in a timely and proper way—either in person or by phone. As we share the love of God for one and for all, we embrace the opportunities of this marvelous autumn. And the world seems to fill with light.
Oh, one more thing. My office hours have shifted because we’ve moved staff meeting to first thing on Tuesday mornings. Times when you will more easily reach me are Monday, 1-5 pm, Tuesday 10 a.m.-12 noon, and Wednesday and Thursday 10-30 a.m. to 12 noon.