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Advancing God’s Love and Justice

Greetings Friends,
Happy summer! Our church attendance has dropped a little, as it usually does this time of year. You are missed when you’re away, but we hope that those of you attending “in spirit” are out restoring yourselves on vacation, exploring the world, or just enjoying some well-deserved rest.

In the meantime, we go on with worship at 10:00 a.m. every Sunday, including Sunday school, led ably by our wonderful CE Coordinator, Denise Majewski.

Summer worship is mostly the same as worship during the program year, however, we have a couple of differences. First, the choir is off. So we, the congregation, are singing the introit. I’ve been teaching a couple of pieces, and the congregation’s enthusiasm has been, well, mixed, but it’s been a lot of fun! A new piece will be coming up shortly for August. We also have special music in place of the anthem. We’ve had such a wonderful diversity of exceptional talent this year—all volunteers, all people from our congregation. We’ve had instrumentalists and singers, solos, duets, and larger groups. It’s been delightful to experience all the talent of our congregation! Many thanks to our musicians!

One piece that has been missing, and has perhaps been causing a little confusion, is the lack of a benediction response. After the final hymn, I speak a few words of blessing and sending from the pulpit, and during the year, the choir blesses us with the benediction response before we leave. This summer however, we go straight from the benediction into the organ postlude. Many of you like to stay and listen to Sue (our organist) play, and this is great. But the purpose for the postlude is for Sue to play us out of the sanctuary, and into our week. Christian worship is meant to end with us on our feet, so that we’re ready transition into the time of action in the world.

We know that standing is hard for some folks. And as I noted, some people really love the organ and there are only so many places to hear such music. Fear not—we’re not going to have “postlude police” enforce the standing and leaving expectations! But we also want those who are feeling energized by the service to feel free to respond to that energy, not feel obligated to stay, and we don’t want anyone unable to get out of their pew if they need to.

So during the postlude—feel free to do as you need to do. Stand, walk around, greet each other, mingle. Go to coffee hour. Go out to serve Jesus. Stay and listen, then go serve Jesus. It’s all good!

As ever, I trust that the Spirit of Christ which is present in our time of worship, will surround us with grace, and strengthen us for service in the world, whether you’re here with us for summer worship, or not!

Grace and peace,
Mark

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