With urgency, let us dare to go forth to be and experience the heart of God in the world…

FORGING OUR FUTURE


A Letter from Pastor Andy

October 7, 2020

Dear U Park Family,

As far as I know, every culture has creation stories. Those stories aren’t just about the creation of the world around us, or how existence itself came to be. They almost always culminate in stories about the origin of human beings and our relationship to our creator. Origins fascinate us, I think largely because the story of how we begin tells us a great deal about who we are and who God is.

But beginnings are never the creation of something from nothing. Beginnings answer to what has come before them. Maybe that’s why even in the Biblical creation story the earth is “formless and void” before God acts on it. It’s not something out of nothing – it’s beauty and order out of chaos, a new thing out of an old one. Even in our attempts to reinvent ourselves, we carry the past with us.

This weekend will be the second in our “Renew” stewardship series. We’ll be looking at that most familiar of Biblical beginnings, the first story in the Bible’s first book. I’ll be reflecting on what Biblical beginnings have to teach us about our own prayerful desire to be renewed and redirected as we seek to be more fully God’s people. We’ll have two worship services this weekend, one on Saturday at 5:00 in the courtyard and the other on Sunday morning at 10:00 on our YouTube channel.

Speaking of our “Renew” campaign, I hope that you’ve received your 2021 Stewardship mailing. As of yesterday, we’ve received a dozen pledges, several of them from new pledgers seeking to support the church financially. Some others are increases from amounts pledged last year. That’s not bad for just the first few days of the campaign! I’m grateful to all of our members who are making that financial commitment to support the church in 2021. If you haven’t gotten a pledge card yet and you’d like one, please let me know and I’ll make sure to get one out to you. If you have questions about our goals or about anything else connected to the pledge campaign or the church’s life, please get in touch with me at the church. I’d be happy to talk with you.

In addition to our 5:00 courtyard worship, Saturday afternoon will also provide the opportunity to honor and celebrate the life of a beloved member of our church, Reda Walsh, in a virtual memorial service. We’ll be hosting that video service on our YouTube channel at 3:00 P.M. on Saturday. Just as on Sunday morning, some of our church staff and I will be live responding to your comments and sharing as we recall the joy of Reda’s life and all that she gave us. I hope you’ll join us in paying tribute to a wonderful woman who meant a great deal to our church, and who is already sorely missed.

Even in these chaotic times, there’s much for which to be thankful. I’m thankful for our church’s rich history, from which we can once again be renewed. I’m thankful that we can create a rich, meaningful community of support and prayer for one another, and I’m thankful for your participation in that ministry.

Grace and Peace,

Andy

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