Tag Archives: summer lunch program

Chalices, Clipboards, Graduation Books – The Monday Messy Office Report – June 9, 2014

9 Jun

communion_table_redux_by_joshmaule-d3isuwr

Every week my tidy Friday office is mysteriously messy on Monday.  Here’s what I found today:

1. Communion Chalices – Yesterday was Worship in the Park, and it was a beautiful day!  I can’t tell you how many people come up to me asking if we could please have worship in the park more often.  Every week, if possible.  One of the elements of worship yesterday was communion, and at Faith Church, once per quarter, we have communion by intinction.  That is people come forward, break off a piece of the bread, dip it in the cup and partake.  We bought chalices from Ten Thousand Villages a couple years ago, made of simple colored glass, and I brought them back to my office after worship yesterday.  The leftover bread, I’ll admit, made it to our house, and not much past lunch at that…  Over the years I have become more interested in communion.  When I was a boy, the church I grew up in had communion once/month, and I remember we would sing a song after communion as the ushers collected an offering for the needy.  It always seemed that song was more rousing and heartfelt than the others we would sing, as if the images and truths communion symbolizes would fill hearts with joy. As it should!  One word many traditions use to describe communion is Eucharist, Greek for “Thanksgiving.”  Giving thanks is a part of the communion story because we read that Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, and broke it.  And so, too, we though somber in our remembrance of his broken body and shed blood, burst forth with thankful joy at his victorious resurrection from the dead.

2. Clipboards – I found a few empty clipboards on my counter.  I’m pretty sure they are the clipboards we used to hold sign-up sheets for the Summer Lunch Program.  I’m really excited that Faith Church is once again participating in our ministerium’s Summer Lunch Program.  Starting next week, for ten weeks of summer vacation, we’ll host people from the community for a free meal.  The food is donated and prepared by our local food bank, Conestoga Valley Christian Community Services.  Not only Faith Church people are signed up to help, but also a number of other churches in our area.  It is going to be excellent!

3. Box of stuff from Worship in the Park – It takes a team of people working together to pull off Worship in the Park, and I am grateful for every one of them.  Thanks to Becka and the praise team for transporting instruments.  Thanks to Elijah for the use and set-up of his sound system.  Thanks to Marcus & Melessa for setting up all the drinks and snacks.  Thanks to Kevin and Ken for handling offering and communion elements.  Thanks to Jim for printing song sheets.  Without all of you, Worship in the Park wouldn’t be possible!  I had a box of a few odds and ends like leftover bulletins and reports we distributed, as we have a special congregational meeting coming up.

4. Books for Graduates – I also had books that we are giving as gifts to our graduates.  We got them books by authors like Brennan Manning and Henri Nouwen, our prayer being that as they move on to their next stage in life they would give attention to their soul.  It is so easy to get caught up in the nuts and bolts of what has to happen next, whether that is starting college (admissions, dorms, loans, classes, roommates, etc) or starting a career (interviews, health insurance, co-workers, meetings, etc).  In the busyness, we can lose focus on what it means that we are disciples of Jesus.  We hope our graduates take a few moments to read those books.  Maybe you have lost focus on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.  If so, I’d be glad to talk with you further if you’re interested.

Now it’s time for me to clean up this mess!

Worship in the Park and Summer Vacation

6 Jun

worshipintheparkThis weekend is the first of two Worship in the Park Sundays that Faith Church has been holding for the last 3-4 years, and thankfully the weather is forecast to be beautiful!  We set up our worship band in the High Pavilion at East Lampeter Community Park, and enjoy worshipping God in the gorgeous surroundings of the Park.  Our Township does a wonderful job keeping the park fun and attractive.  So we invite all of you to join us!  Added to the surroundings, our Bishop will be with us.  Bruce Hill has been a pastor and leader in the Evangelical Congregational Church for a number of years, and he has been our Bishop for the last three.  He is a creative leader with a bold vision and a heart for God and his Kingdom.  In preparation for his message on Sunday, perhaps you’ll take a few minutes and read his address to our denomination’s National Conference last week.  During worship in the park, we’ll also celebrate communion and take a special offering to support our missionaries.

Warmer weather means not only Worship in the Park, but also summer vacation.  My family will travel to Texas next, as we are looking forward to vacationing with family.  That means on June 15, Phil Bartelt will be continuing our series in 1 Corinthians, and I’ll be taking a break from blogging for a few weeks.  It has been a blessing to have Phil, Lisa, and their kids as members of Faith Church now for almost a year!  On June 22, we have another special opportunity, the Conestoga Valley Ministerium Pulpit Exchange.  Pastor Tom Eshleman of Groffdale Mennonite Church will be with us, and I will be preaching at Zion Lutheran Church of Leola.  Tom has been pastor at Groffdale since September, 2009. He, his wife Jennifer, and their three children came to Groffdale in 2005 as associate/youth pastor. Prior to that he taught elementary school in Harrisonburg, VA. Born and raised in Lancaster, PA, he holds a BA degree from Eastern Mennonite University and a Master of Divinity degree from Eastern Mennonite Seminary.  I wish I could be there to hear Tom, so I’ll have to check out the podcast!  I’ve gotten to know Tom a bit through the ministerium, and I’ve come to appreciate his obvious passion for Christ.

June is a busy month at Faith Church.  Ballroom dance has started back up on Tuesday evenings.  The Summer Lunch Program begins on the 16th, and we could still use your help volunteering for that.  It’s going to be a great summer!