The Prophet Isaiah wrote that “in returning and rest you shall be set free; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
Returning is so much a part of the cycle of life. As we enter September this returning cycle confronts us head-on. Students and teachers are returning to school. Commitments to community organizations beckon our return. As a faith community, we return to another program year full of opportunities for worship, education, service and growth.
Returning is essential for human beings. We return home from work or vacations. We return to disciplines physical and spiritual. We return as individuals, celebrating turning point events such as birthdays and anniversaries.
Isaiah spoke of returning to that which gives us strength and freedom and quietness and trust. Many of us, when we talk about the beloved community of Seventh Avenue, speak in terms of a community where we receive support, gain strength, find a place of rest and quietness, and experience a place where we are set free to be and become the women and men that God intends for us to be.
Returning is a way of developing roots. Returning is a way of connectedness: connecting us with our past while catapulting us into the future.
As we return to a full program year here at Seventh Avenue, I encourage you to participate as fully as you can. Our core experience is our Sunday liturgy/worship celebration each week at 10AM. When you come to worship — invite a friend or colleague to to join you and experience the freedom of Seventh Avenue. If you haven’t experienced our twice-monthly Taizé worship service, I invite you do so on the first and third Wednesdays at 7.30pm.
You may want to serve on one of the many teams or working groups of our church; be assured — you will be welcomed with open arms! Have you ever wanted to sing in the choir and simply haven’t? Have you wanted try your hand exploring playing in our handbell choir? If so, talk to Luba Kravchenko, our Director of Liturgical Music.
Other opportunities include the monthly Perspectives @ 11.30 (adult formation classes — check out the flyer in this issue of the newsletter), Bible Study, Book Club or Women’s Spirituality. On Saturday, September 22, our own Tom Stafford will be preforming his delightful: Totally Tom Night Club show as a Benefit for our Organ Restoration. This show is being called: “Totally Tom Pulls Out All The Stops”. October 7 is World Communion and Saturday, November 3 our Annual HomeComing Event followed the next day for the celebration of All Saints’ Day and then Advent with the Advent Retreat, right around the corner.
Yes, returning … what is it that you are being called to return to this Fall?
As you can see, great opportunities await us!
Know that I thank God for you and this community. I find at SAPC that we gain strength to be and become our best-selves as we are set free in God.
Returning with you,
Jeffrey Steven Gaines