Movin’ On…

This Sunday will be the final day of reflecting on my 40 years of ordained ministry.  You all have been very kind and indulgent as I’ve looked backwards as a way of looking ahead:  we’ve thought about our own ministries, what it means to be called, the people who have modeled faithfulness for us and those for whom we’ve done the same, and told a few – OK, more than a few – stories along the way.  Thank you for allowing me the retrospective.
 
Next week we will change gears a bit.  After a series that was forty years in the making, we’re going to wing it next week.  Between now and next Sunday (Sept 6), I’d like to ask you to send me your questions or topics, some ideas you’d like me to wrestle with and preach about.  You may recall we did something like this a couple years ago, we called it our Spontaneous Sermon Sunday, and together we got a lot of mileage out of your ideas.  So please send your thoughts, questions and/or suggestions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or shoot me a text or call me some time in the next week and we’ll talk about what’s on your mind Labor Day Sunday.  I’d love to hear from you.  Because of the extemporaneous nature of the service (and because Mari will be on a well-deserved vacation), there will be no bulletin that day, although we will send out the hymn at the end of the week.
 
So this weekend I’m going to think aloud about what the future of Christ’s church might look like.  We are in challenging times in a multitude of respects, and each of us handles the challenges differently.  There was a great newspaper article about a colleague and her congregation a few years back; it looks at how one church stared its challenges straight in the eye and responded with creativity and a huge leap of faith.  I share this not because I think it is applicable to our United Church of Chester, but only because it is a good example of adaptive behavior leading to creative solutions.  You can read about Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade and her West Medford United Church of Christ here:  https://apps.bostonglobe.com/graphics/2016/05/sanctuary/  I find it an inspiring story.
 

Here is Sunday’s bulletin and our Sunday service link.
 
Grace and peace,
 
  Alan

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