July 25, 2017
As I write this, the summer heat , humidity , and storms are reminding us of the wonders of air conditioning. I am among the members of St. Paul's who can remember the church before we added air conditioning, hoping for a cool Sunday service aided by fresh air and open windows. Fortunately, we grew as a congregation and we added the modern marvel we call A/C. The congregation had a vision during the building expansion, and we saw it become reality.
Today, as we enter August, we are about to begin a 2-3 year visioning process (L.E.A.D) that was developed in Texas and adopted by the ELCA and our synod. A small group of lay members is being gathered to make this commitment to all of our church family to help us grow as a key element of our community in southern Howard County. I am excited to hear that some of you have agreed to serve in this capacity. I am also excited that from the time before the Congregational meeting in May, new leadership was recruited to serve on Council. Thank you to Kerry Griffin, Russ Werner, Donna Frederick, Julie Smith -who volunteered during the meeting!, and Lisa Slater for answering the call. Ken Keefer almost got away, and we are blessed to have him remaining on Council, filling a vacant Property Chair that was needed. But our work as a church family is only beginning.
We are adding a new social tradition, a Peach Festival, as a celebration among members and our neighbors. It will be wedged between 2 very traditional activities, Vacation Bible School and the Annual Corn Roast. It is my hope that all of these events will bring new visitors through our doors. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities associated with these events- if you want to help, you will be welcome! Before too long, we will be looking back from Labor Day and wondering "where did the summer go?" And among all this, we still have a vacant slot for a Chair of Evangelism on the church council. Until the Spirit moves one of you to help in this capacity, EVERYONE must help to reach a welcoming hand out to visitors and those among us who you don't know or recognize.
Think about it. The Evangelism chair is vacant. Sometimes I have seen it described as Empty. I prefer to call it vacant. Technically it may be the same, but a vacancy seems temporary. We use the word to describe room availability at a hotel- sometimes there is room and sometimes there isn't. And as in our case, when there is a position for a person to fill it is often described as vacant- offering an opportunity for service. Vacant- it is a more positive term than Empty. When we run out of things, the container is empty. The tank, the bottle, the bag, or the box is empty. Something was there and now it is gone. Empty. Well folks, we have a Vacancy. It is an opportunity to serve, so please consider if it is an opportunity for you to serve.
See you on Sunday.