This October promises to be a special month. We begin by joining with Christians in every part of the earth to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. World Communion Sunday gathers us around God’s table to join in the meal that unites us with the family of faith across the globe. We know that we are members of the one body of Christ, and on the first Sunday of October we share in the meal that he invited his followers to share “in remembrance of me.” A variety of breads from different cultures and traditions will remind us of the many different expressions of our faith found all over the world.
Two weeks later is Laity Sunday, when our Lay Leader Dale Gehr will be joined by a team of leaders from the congregation to lead us in worship. Laity Sunday helps remind us that God’s call is to all who seek to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ – not only, or even primarily, to clergy or paid leaders. Our congregation is blessed with generous, capable and loving leaders in every area of our life.
That weekend will also be special for both of your pastors’ families. April’s daughter Elizabeth will be getting married that Saturday in San Diego. And while that celebration is under way, Thyra and I will be making our way toward Rochester, NY, where our daughter Hannah will be married the following weekend! She has made her home there in Rochester since going away to university and music school and the wedding will take place at Asbury-1st UMC, which she has made her church home for the last couple of years. It’s a lively and lovely congregation, which (nearly) lives up to the expectations she had for a church. Her experience over twenty years with RHUMC set the bar very high, but we are glad she has found such a good home. The wedding will be on Sunday evening, October 22. After a birthday brunch for her mother the next day, we’ll be back late Monday night!
The last Sunday of October is Celebration Sunday, when we look forward to the year to come and express our support for the mission of God as it is carried out by our congregation. Please look over the Mission Budget on pages (4-8?), which describes how we carry out God’s work with your generous support. We look forward to our Celebration Sunday brunch after each of the morning services, and to a special Taco Night after 3rd service.
This year, October 31st is not only Halloween, but the 500th anniversary of what turned out to be the birth of Protestant Christianity. On that date Martin Luther posted his “95 Theses” on the door of the cathedral in Wittenburg, Germany, listing issues for the attention of the Church. It is almost impossible to understand the impact of that gesture, not only on the Christian Church but on the whole of human history. We take for granted that God’s grace comes equally to all persons. That was a new idea in Luther’s time, and one which we cherish today.