A weekly Rector’s Notes Article
The first Sunday of the program year of the Church (which for decades has conveniently followed the school-year calendar) has many names and traditions tied to it: Kick Off Sunday (it’s the fall, football has started…), Welcome Back Sunday (all you heathens that stayed away all summer), Homecoming Sunday (again, heathens), and so on.
There’s not really a great name for it because it’s somewhat embarrassing in our society to be called out for not being as regularly attending as we otherwise might have been. But, I don’t think that’s entirely fair to either congregants or the church.
Summer is a time for soaking in God’s creation, for taking vacation to visit family and friends or to enrich your own family or person, for simply being in a season that encourages us to get out and explore. I completely understand why attendance drops off during the summer, and I have no problem with those who fill up their weekends with events both of their choosing and chosen for them. The church has been accused too of slacking off during the summer with less programming and opportunities (although I wonder if this is a chicken and egg scenario…). But, with the turn to (nearly) fall and the start of the school year, it’s time we re-engage with one another and get excited for a wonderful and wonderfully full program year!
This fall, in addition to this year, is going to be full of new-ness, opportunity, and excitement. We have fresh paint on the walls, two new children-focused spaces, an exciting year-long formation program, Blessing of the Animals for the Feast of St. Francis on October 6, a powerful stewardship campaign on deck (launching October 13), A Celebration of ALL Saints on November 3, and that’s not to mention the wonderful opportunities that are coming just this Sunday!
This Sunday, to “Kick Off” our program year we will:
- Bless the Bags–All bags for all people are welcome, whether it’s a student backpack, a teacher bag, a diaper bag, a tool bag, a briefcase, or whatever else! We will have blessing tags available at the service for all bags blessed.
- Ministry Fair–An opportunity to learn about all of the ministries at St. Stephen’s including:
- Family Promise
- Winter’s Night
- Radical Love
- Serving in the Service
- and more!
- Piano Accompaniment returns for Joyful Noise at 9:30am!
This is truly an exciting time to be at St. Stephen’s and the events this Sunday are simply a reflection of that excitement! I hope you are able to join us!