October marks the month when most of our church ministries and programs are in full gear. I am excited about the wide variety of ministries provided by the leaders and members of this congregation. You are blessed by a staff of excellent, committed and compassionate leaders who work day-to-day with many of you. We can be grateful for the leadership of your staff: Minister for Faith Formation and Discipleship, Rev. Nancy B. McLaren, Director of Music Ministries, Dr. Patricia Snyder, Office Administrator, Deborah Gacek, and Sexton, Antonio Aguilera.
During this four month sabbatical period, Pastor Matt will be involved in several special forms of renewal with the sabbatical theme of “Voices: Reconnected, Reclaimed, Renewed.” In this same period, I have been called to facilitate your renewal of voices as a congregation through the cultivation and encouragement of lay voices of proclamation in our midst.
The formal description of my work is as follows: “In summary, through collegial and collaborative relationship with the church staff, the Sabbatical Supply Minister shall:
- “Proactively and creatively cultivate faith, witness, testimony, and/or proclamation from people within the congregation, through activities offered to the congregation at large and through work done with particular individuals, with the hope that such lay participation would fulfill approximately 25% of the preaching load during the sabbatical period;
- preach and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and administer the sacraments and rites of the church;
- supervise all staff members and administer the activities of the church in cooperation with the various elected or appointed lay persons;
- with the assistance of the Minister for Faith Formation and Discipleship, engage in working relationships with our Lead Ministry Coordinators;
- share with our Governing Board primary responsibility for the general welfare of the church and its organizations.”
You are also blessed by the leadership of your elected and appointed lay leaders who are dedicated to serving God in this place and time. My purpose is to provide support to the Governing Board, church officers and the Lead Ministry Coordinators and the Ministry Teams. Throughout this issue of The Carillon and other communications, you can learn about these opportunities for your active engagement in our church. May each one find ways to participate in “Voices: Reconnected, Reclaimed, Renewed.”
October ends with the eve of All Saints’ Day, November 1. This reminds me that each one of you is a saint, according to the description used by the apostle Paul. He referred to persons who were followers of Jesus Christ, who sought to live in service to God and others, as saints. We celebrate all who have served God in this place and all who continue to serve God in this place and time.
There is a story of a little child who stood in a great Cathedral on a bright fall morning. The sunlight streamed through the beautiful stained glass windows. The figures in the windows, of men and women of the Bible and the history of the Christian Church, were bright with brilliant colors. A while later the child was asked “Who is a saint?” The child replied, “A saint is a person who lets the light shine through.” So, I repeat each one of you is a saint”.