From the Minister's Desk
One of my favorite parts of Fall is one that doesn't get a lot of attention: I really like watching the scrub lands turn color. Growing up in New England, I became accustomed to visitors arriving from all over during Autumn, rhapsodizing about the brilliant color of maples, the tawny beeches, the russet oaks. But for me, some of the most stunning transformations take place on the margins and the border. When was the last time you really looked at the median strip of highway, or the weedy lot behind the shopping mall? Most of the time they pass unnoticed, except for the occasional thought that someone ought to mow the grass and trim back the bushes. But for a few weeks in September and October those unremarkable plots of land become impressionistic paintings, palettes of crimson and gold and ashy lavender.
In the church, fall is a time when we remember our commitment to stewardship. Like the scrub land, stewardship is with us through the year mostly unnoticed, coming into a greater focus in the fall. In the next few weeks, you will start to hear more about it: you may hear someone deliver a message during worship, or notice an article in the Home Caller. As we consider our response to the needs of this church, as well as to a world that is still reeling from a year of natural disasters, our own resources may seem inadequate to the task. But when we combine our efforts, mighty things are possible.
As many of you know, I was just out in Colorado to perform a wedding. The couple set their date for the first day of Autumn, and wanted similar themes - of harvests, and celebration, and feasting and good music played out of doors under a high blue sky - to be a part of their marriage. I'll finish this with some words from that service. Autumn is a time of promises fulfilled, of the faith in a seed planted in the spring and tended in the summer, brought to harvest in the fall. It is also a time of promises made, that we will hold one another as the world turns darker and colder, until it is reborn in the spring.