A Sunday (and Season) of Renewal
The first Sunday in August has become something of a church holiday for us here at the Top of Poplar. It’s when we celebrate “Back to School” Sunday, marking what is one of the few rites of passage we have left as a culture.
Through the years we’ve accumulated a host of traditions to mark this season of transition and renewal. Somewhere along the way we started celebrating the Lord’s Supper on this Sunday, having deacons whose profession is somehow related to education serve. A few years back we started inviting students to bring their backpacks and educators their briefcases to be blessed by the congregation (along with the bodies that wear them), reminding them who and whose they are as they enter this new season in life.
We also typically invite a student, a parent, and an educator to offer short reflections on their hopes for the year ahead and more broadly about how learning and the pursuit of knowledge and understanding intersect with their faith. In fact, more than simply marking the beginning of a new school year, this Sunday has become a celebration of education and spiritual formation on the whole—our call to “love God with our minds.”
This coming Sunday this service of transition, rites of passage, and blessing will take on even more meaning as we welcome our candidate for the position of Associate Pastor for Youth and Missions.
You’ll be receiving more information about our candidate in the mail this week, and ask that you keep it private so as to allow her to inform her current congregation following this weekend with us. But for now let me tell you how enthusiastic our search committee is in presenting her to you.
You’re invited to join us this Sunday for breakfast starting at 9:30 in the fellowship hall, which will continue through the Sunday school hour, where you’ll have an opportunity to meet our candidate. You’ll also have an opportunity to hear her share a little bit about herself, her approach to ministry, and her hopes for our programs of youth and missions.
She will participate in worship, offering one of our reflections, and following worship we will have an opportunity to formally bless the search committee’s recommendation. It is sure to be a good day.
But wait, there’s more!
This Sunday we’ll also be rolling out our long-anticipated new worship bulletin and weekly newsletter. We appreciate your patience with us as we’ve skipped the monthly Highlites these past couple of months to refine this new format. I think you’ll be pleased with the result.
As part of the roll-out, we’ll also be formally introducing out new church logo. The publicity servant team is proud to present this updated logo which we believe captures the best of our history, while also embracing our fresh sense of purpose in our community and in the world. Through the fall we’ll be offering different items emblazoned with the new logo so you can help spread the good word about our church, beginning with new performance t-shirts just in time for the Labor Day Road Race. Click these links to put in an order for a standard or women’s cut shirt.
I hope you’ll make plans to join us this Sunday as we mark this season of renewal and transition for our larger community and our congregation.