This newsletter article will mark my last before beginning my sabbatical. As you know, I will be in worship this Sunday (Mothers Day, May 14) but then will be stepping away from all day-to-day activities in the church until early August. I plan to be back in worship on August 6, but not preaching. I will look forward to being a worshiper alongside you and have the chance to see you all again before resuming my day-to-day work on Monday, August 7.
I am exceedingly grateful for the tremendous staff and lay leaders we have at Central and I have no doubt that things will proceed in smooth and wonderful ways in my absence. I also appreciate the fact that Scott Woolridge will be present both throughout the week and on Sunday mornings to provide stability and support to everyone. Scott will be sending out regular announcements and other pastoral-type correspondence in this column as well as the every-other-week “This Week’s News” email. The sabbatical committee, under the leadership of Gerri Munos, has done a fantastic job of coming up with an appropriate theme for the summer – “Connection: One God – One Church” and I hope you will pick up one of the booklets we put together outlining some of the theme-based activities that will take place during the next 12 weeks (if you haven’t already).
One of the ways we can experience connection throughout the sabbatical is by staying connected to worship. The sabbatical committee has contracted with an amazing group of preachers who are familiar with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and committed to bringing a thought-provoking, challenging and inspiring message each week. On over half of the Sundays, the pulpit will be filled by two people we already know well – Rev. Scott Woolridge (member of Central and long-time Associate Regional Minister of our region) and our own Pastor Vicky Woolridge. Of the remaining five, some you may know, some you may not. Yet each was selected by the committee and Pastor Michael and are coming to Central with great willingness and anticipation.
We know that the summer always means individuals and families will be out of town on vacations and for other reasons. But I am asking three (3) things of you as you make your household plans this summer. Consider these my three (3) hopes for you this summer as it relates to worship at Central:
- That you attend worship as often you as you are able. This is a great opportunity to hear excellent preaching from a variety and diversity of people;
- That when you are here, you listen well and strive to leave worship with one (1) take-away you can apply to your faith journey;
- That you make sure to go out of your way to greet the guest preachers and thank them for coming. Central is full of people with welcoming, generous and hospitable spirits. And we want our guests to feel the full weight of our love when they are here.
Blessings for a summer of wonderful connections— Pastor Michael