I remember my first summer as pastor of Soldotna UMC in 1992 as I experienced the summer exodus. What do you mean we're not going to have Sunday School, Bible Study, or choir in worship? We don't get to take a vacation from being a disciple of Jesus! I was a lot more legalistic back in those days. In the 20 years since then God has taught me much about grace. God seemed to say to me, "Just relax and enjoy this season of light and outdoor beauty." I learned that worship was not lessened. It often moved outdoors!
And now we find ourselves in that wonderful season of coming back. School has begun. Students and teachers have been blessed on Sunday mornings in our 29 churches. Summer schedules will soon give way to busy fall/winter schedules. So much needs to be done by our lay and clergy leaders. But it is a good busyness. God is present in the creative imaginations of new Sunday School teachers who are working even now to prepare learning environments for children to learn about Jesus. God is working in the plans of youth leaders who are thinking of ways for our teens to walk with God and do acts of social justice. God's Spirit is stirring the minds of adults who will engage holy scripture with other disciples of Christ in a few weeks.
As we all experience the fall church come back season let us remember to include others who need a deeper connection with God. Let's take some time to think about who we can invite to church this fall. It's a great time to begin or renew a faith journey!