Comings and Goings

At the conclusion of worship on Sunday I was standing in my customary place greeting the exiting worshippers. I have one specific spot on which I try to stand. It is important to be near the middle door, but far enough back so as to catch the people who try to slip out the side doors. Sometimes it is quite humorous watching people trying to avoid me. Do I have bad breath? Perhaps they don’t want to say what they really thought of my sermon. Maybe they are just in a hurry to get their child to a soccer game.

 

Sunday I met two first-time visitors to our church. This is always a treat. It can also be a little frantic. I try to learn as much as I can about them and tell them about our church in the 90 seconds before the next person comes to shake my hand. This past week I had a little more time and so we chatted for a couple of minutes. Then other members of the church stepped up to talk with our visitors and tell them more about our congregation.

 

It is satisfying on many levels to have visitors in church. From the standpoint of church development it is good that we are noticed by people who don’t have a church. Like all visitors these days, Sunday’s guests had first visited our website. On a more important level, it is good to meet new people with whom we may share God’s spirit and love.

 

After my receiving line I changed out of my robe and went to Sunday’s potluck lunch during which we said good-bye to Dave and Monica Willard. It is sad to see them leave. The Willards have been key members of our congregation for many years. They have each contributed an immeasurable amount to our church. Saying good-bye is also hard on many levels. In addition to the loss of these friends, and church workers, I am reminded of others who have moved and how I miss them.

 

We are a congregation in which people will continually come and go. One possible reaction to all the partings is to become more guarded and protected. People who suffer a lot of loss sometimes close down. They don’t want to meet new people as they may also leave. I have felt this myself, at times.

 

I have found, though, that by saying good-bye, not avoiding the loss, but really experiencing it, I am better able to open my heart to new people in my life. The new relationships are certainly not the same, but they bring a new excitement into my life. It is as if my heart enlarges with the more people I have come to know and love. Good-byes create openings that don’t  need to be shut closed—it is better to fill them with new friends. I know that by meeting new people my experience of life certainly expands. This is the most important reason I enjoy greeting visitors on Sunday mornings.

 

I hope you will all join me in greeting the visitors we have in church each week. We really have some interesting people stepping through our doors. And I know that our guests will enjoy seeing the love of God as reflected in your eyes.

 

 

See you in church,

 

mark

 

Joys and Concerns

 

This past Sunday we had a wonderful appreciation lunch for Dave and Monica Willard before our annual meeting. We wish them all the best in their new home. Their new address is listed in the pictorial directory.

 

 

Service Opportunities

 

v     The HIHI homeless program has been coming up short on volunteers. If you have been thinking of helping with the program, now is the time. There is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board outside the church office. Or call Anne Canadeo.

v     There is a new, and mostly blank, sign-up sheet for Sunday coffee hour. Be sure to add your name to help with this important ministry of hospitality.

 

 

Calendar Announcements
Sunday, February 5                Fellowship Hour at 11:30 AM – Susan Pummill
                                                 PF Workcamp Meeting at 11:30 AM
Saturday, February 4             Super Bowling Saturday, 6:00 PM at Melville Lanes
Monday, February 6              HIHI Lunch Making in FH, 7:00-8:30 PM
                                                  Prayer & Meditation Circle at 7:30 PM
                                                  Board of Trustees Meeting at 8:00 PM
Tuesday, February 7               Church Council Meeting at 8:00 PM   
Wednesday, February 8         Bell Choir at 7:00 PM
Thursday, February 9             Choir Rehearsal at 7:30 PM
Sunday, February 12              Pancake Breakfast at 8:30 AM, to benefit PF Workcamp at 8:30 AM
Monday, February 13            HIHI Lunch Making in FH 7:00 – 8:30 PM
                                                   Prayer & Meditation Circle at 7:30 PM
Tuesday, February 14              Women’s Discussion Group, 7:00 PM at the home of Helen Bracco, 32 Bankside Drive, Centerport. The book, Zipporah, Wife of Moses, by Marek Halter will be discussed. Please call Helen at 261-2572 if you can join us and to receive directions to her home.
Wednesday, February 15        Bell Choir at 6:30 PM
Thursday, February 16            Choir Rehearsal at 7:29 PM
Sunday, February 19               Intergenerational Service at 10:00 AM
                                                   PF Workcamp,February 19 – 24
Monday, February 13            Prayer & Meditation Circle at 7:30 PM
 Tuesday, February 14             Women’s Discussion Group, 7:00 PM at the home of Helen Bracco, 32 Bankside Drive, Centerport. The book, Zipporah, Wife of Moses, by Marek Halter will be discussed. Please call Helen at 261-2572 if you can join us and to receive directions to her home.
Wednesday, February 15        Bell Choir at 6:30 PM

Thursday, February 16         Choir Rehearsal at 7:29 PM

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