September 1, 2019
“Don’t you love New York in the fall?” Tom Hanks says to Meg Ryan in the 1998 rom-com You’ve Got Mail. “It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”
I think he’s right — not merely about New York in the fall, but about fall in genera! There’s just something about this season, this fall season, this back-to-school season. I’m not going “back to school” this year, and I haven’t packed my own backpack for the “first day of school” in years … and yet, there is something about this back-to-school season that makes me want to stock up on school supplies and sharpen a bouquet’s-worth of No. 2 pencils, ready for new adventures in a new year.
We often think of spring as the season of new life — and for good reason. In springtime, new life abounds in bright new shoots poking up out of the dirt and bright green buds doing the tree branches. Fall, in contrast, seems the total opposite, as the flowers of those bright new shoots bloom for the last time and the leaves from those bright green buds begin to fall. Yet the fall season brings its own kind of newness, heralds its own kind of “new year,” regardless of whether we ourselves are heading back to school.
In the church, the fall is our own season of newness, our own “back to school” time as we gear up for .a new program year. In just a couple of weeks, Sunday School classes and small groups and music rehearsals and preschool activities will be back to their regular rhythms. Of course, good things have been happening here at Wesley all summer long, too. We’ve connected with one another in meet-and-greets and movie nights; cared for one another in the midst of losses and difficulties; helped meet the needs of our neighbors by offering furniture (via the Lehigh Valley Outreach Depot), fresh produce (thanks to our Community Garden), and school supplies (through our annual “We Got Your Back” backpack program); and gathered together for prayer and worship. Yet now as the fall begins, we find ourselves in a new season of ministry, with opportunities for new community partnerships, new studies and small groups, new members’ gatherings, and new possibilities for ministry.
What new possibility does God have in store for you?
If you’ve been a part of the ministry of Wesley Church throughout the lazy, hazy days of summer, we thank you! If you’re brand-new to the congregation, we’re so happy you’ve found us. If you’ve just started coming back after some time away — welcome back! And if it’s been awhile since you’ve joined us here at Wesley, come check us out. God is present here, working and moving and shaping us into a community of “people blessing people.” We especially hope you’ll join us for our “Rally Day” on Sunday, September 8, with worship at 10:00 AM, a pancake breakfast from 8:00-11:00 AM, and a fall soup fund raiser to support our library. Come to connect, to worship, to fill up on. pancakes and maple syrup, to support our library, and to hear more about how you can get involved in the ministry of Wesley Church.
In this season of newness, this season of falling leaves and freshly-sharpened pencils, may God bless you with a renewed spirit and lead you down a new path in ministry!
Pastor Candy LaBar