I love the window in my office! It allows me to see Mama deer and her twins in the woods by the parking lot. It allows me to see people coming in for help or to have questions answered. It allows me see flowers that were planted and watered by Barb Stamm and Doris Thomas. It allows me to daydream. Most of all, though, my office window reminds me that my job is only partly inside. God’s world is everywhere. When I leave my office, I need to take my faith with me to do good stuff outside the comfort of my chair looking out.
Earworms, those songs or portions of songs that get stuck in your head, are a bit of a hazard in my job. I often have part of a choir anthem or praise song rattling around in my head – usually something either group was working on especially hard. I don’t generally mind too much. As I sing through the song in my mind, I think about the people I was with when we sang it out loud or I think of the words to the song. I often end up meditating on the words as I walk in the woods with my dog.
Today’s earworm is Speak, O Lord, a song that is new to the Praise Team. It’s got a simple melody (perfect for an earworm) and words that express a desire to hear God’s direction in our lives. We started working on it this week and will sing it with the congregation in October
Let me know if it gets stuck in your head, too.
The people should not think that small beginnings are unimportant. They will be happy when they see Zerubbabel with tools, building the Temple. Zehariah 4:10
I once told Bob W. that I’d always wanted a toolbox. Bob is the handyperson and tech guy for the church, but he donates his time and talent for free. I knew Bob would understand my need for tools in my job as the church secretary. In fourteen years, I’ve tried to fix things with borrowed hammers, screwdrivers, measuring tapes, and more. Bob gifted me a toolbox sometime later, and I put my name on it thinking that it would be mine forever. Wrong. This toolbox is used constantly by others, and I love it! The tools are always returned because everyone knows I use these tools in my job. You see, Church is more than just worshiping God in the sanctuary. It’s also about using a trowel to weed the yard, measuring a space to see if the new printer will fit, screwing in a nut and bolt to tighten the copier, etc. The church may stand on a rock, but the people inside it and the tools used to build and repair it are just as important. We all need a toolbox!
The rain was pouring down and the steam was rising from the parking lot as I sat in my car waiting for the seven o’clock hour. Some members of the congregation had shared the idea of this gathering with me about six months before. “What if we gathered at each of the school parking lots in the Stow- Monroe Falls School District the evening before school started and prayed?” I thought it was a wonderful idea.
We began organizing ourselves and individuals volunteered to be at each of the parking lots of our nine schools. We invited others to join us for a prayer at 7pm to lift up our students, teachers, support staff, administration, families, and community. We prayed that we had an engaging and safe school year. We wanted to be deliberate and focused.
Of course I had no idea how the Parking Lot Prayer would go but everyone involved shared that it was a wonderful experience and that knowing we were all praying together was very moving. The last sentences of our shared prayer were these:
Protective God, we pray for the safety of all who work and learn here. Bless their coming in and their going out. Bless their efforts. Bless their toil and play. Help all of us make the most of the year ahead.
All this we pray with hope and courage.
Rain wasn’t the only thing that was being poured over our schools that evening!
School is in full swing! Backpacks are filled with supplies. Lunches are bought or packed each day. Lessons are taught. Homework is given out and handed back in. We think a lot about what our kids need as they return to school each fall. What is another need our children have that isn’t taught in school? The need to know Jesus. The classes, tests, studying and other things will get children where they want to be on this earth, but they need more to get to their “forever” life.
Learning how God wants us to live and becoming disciples of Jesus are what kids will be learning during Sunday School and Kids’ Church. “Deep Blue” is the program for 4 years to 6th grade. We will launch the year on September 11 with a Deep Blue Adventure Party. All children 4 years to 6th grade are invited. We will meet in Room 200 at 9:30. Come and join in the fun!
The Arise Class, 7th grade-12th grade will be continuing with The Story. Teens will experience stories from Genesis to Revelation. Like any good story, they are filled with intrigue, drama, conflict, romance and redemption. This class meets in rooms 106/108 at 9:30 Sunday mornings.
As Methodists, God is calling you to reach:
A child that is on their tiptoes, ready to be taught
A child God has placed on your heart
A child whose potential you can encourage
A child difficult to reach
A child who needs a mentor
A child whose needs are not met
Please consider joining us to bring these lessons to the kids of our congregation.
Sunday School is still in need of two people for the 1st Sunday of every month.
Kids Church is in need of volunteers as well.
1st Sunday-two at 10:45
3rd Sunday-two at 8:30
4th Sunday-two at 8:30
“One thing is certain: It will be far easier to just stay comfortable and leave children unreached. If we do, John Wesley only asked that we do not call ourselves Methodists.”
From the book: Seven Things John Wesley Expected Us to Do for Kids