A Beginning: A Church Transforming

Fall is the time of beginning, with its backpacks still unsmudged, its pages still unwritten, its eraser-heads still pristine. A favorite time of the year, even before the leaves fall so we can scuff through them down the sidewalk.

Soon there will be marks of all kinds, on the pages and notebooks of this season — brilliant ideas jotted quickly down, careful plans painstakingly made, and mistakes crossed over and erased so many times the paper rips. But right now we are poised, sharpened pencil in hand.

Yesterday was our first Sunday with the new worship schedule: two services, one at 9:15 and one at 11:00. People were eager to be there, and a spirit of experimentation tinged the air. The ad hoc choir did a great job, and the organist wrung every note from the old organ. The weather was beautiful and the grounds looked great, especially since we spent Saturday cleaning up: thinning irises and tulip bulbs, mulching, washing windows, deep cleaning the nursery. The front doors of the church were a picture of welcome with new wreaths, and inside, a brand new Welcome flyer was ready for visitors.

No visitors came, but we are ready!

People have put their heart into these efforts. In fact, a few people have been giving so much time to the church that I’m a little concerned about burnout. But I’m hoping it was just a busy stretch and each person will find his/her own balance between church and family commitments. Seasons have their way of restoring balance.

Tonight is a Session meeting. There’s plenty of planning to be done. Next Sunday our Transformation Team meets, we are applying for a grant. Plus, I have only today to finish a grant application I’m writing for myself, to buy a little writing time. Any of these activities may or may not lead to more new beginnings.

I’m glad that getting older only intensifies my sense that everything is always renewing itself. A new beginning is never far away.


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