August 26th, 2011 eNote

Below is my weekly email to the Tonganoxie UMC congregation.  I share it here so that others can keep in touch with what the church is up to.  Let me know if you’d like to be added to the list to receive the note weekly.

Dear Tonganoxie UMC Family,

I hope that you’re doing well on this fine Friday and that you have had a blessed week.  Tuesday morning I had the joy of standing in my office and watching out the window as kids headed to their first day of school.  It was fun to watch the students in their new outfits, the younger siblings anticipating their first day of school in a coming year and the parents trying to hold it all together.  As I watched the community pass by my office window on this important day in their lives I found myself wondering how we as a congregation might seek to be a blessing to this elementary school that sits just across the street from our building.  I would invite you to join me in thinking about and praying about that question in the coming weeks and months.  Maybe on next year’s first day of school we can somehow be a blessing to the school and the families in a way that lets them know of God’s love for them…  something to ponder, for sure.

There are just a few things that I want to cover in today’s email.

Care Quest Rummage Sale Today and Tomorrow

Looking for a good deal?  Maybe even on things you didn’t know you needed?  Come by the church today or tomorrow for the rummage sale being put on by Care Quest, our Parents’ Day Out Program.  The sale runs today from 8:00am – 2:00pm and tomorrow from 8:00am – 12 noon.  All proceeds go to Care Quest and your support will enable them to buy materials and supplies needed for this ministry throughout the course of the year.

Small Group Gatherings – All Church Retreat (Save the Date!) – Defining our Purpose for 2012 and Beyond

This fall we’re going to be working through a congregation-wide process to clearly define our purpose as a congregation heading into 2012.  The first step in this process is going to be a series of small group gatherings hosted by members of the congregation over the next couple of months.  Our goal is to have at least 10-12 gatherings with at least 10-12 people attending each.  Each gathering will follow the same format and provide you the opportunity to better get to know me as well as to share your hopes and dreams for the church.  If you’re interested in being a part of one of these gatherings there are a few options: you can sign up to host one, you can contact the church office to be put on a list of interested attendees, or you can simply accept an invitation that you might receive to attend one.

Following these small group gatherings we will then be holding an all church retreat on the evening of November 4th and the morning of November 5th.  This retreat will provide an opportunity for us to process together the information shared at the small group gatherings and to build some consensus around our plans for the future.  All are invited to be a part of this special weekend, please mark your calendars now and stay tuned for further details to come.

Lessons from the Farm – New Sermon Series Kicks-off this Sunday 

The Bible is full of metaphors and images related to farming and agriculture and the lessons found here for growing in our spiritual life are many.  For five weeks beginning this Sunday we will be exploring these “Lessons from the Farm” in a fun and light-hearted sermon series.  Please make plans to join us for worship over these next five weeks as I trust you will enjoy these sermons.  Also know that this back to school time of transition is the perfect time for people to get involved with a faith community, maybe for the first time.  Please consider inviting a friend, a neighbor, or someone that you know in the community to join you for this sermon series.  I am excited about these messages and look forward to seeing you in worship as we make plans to intentionally grow together in our faith.

We are quickly wrapping up our first two months together as pastor and congregation and I continue to be having a blast!  Thank you for your warm spirits, your enthusiasm about serving Christ, and the energy you bring to this work of being the church.  It is a blessing to serve as your pastor!

Have a great weekend and I’ll see you Sunday.

Grace and Peace,

Jeff

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