FORGING OUR FUTURE
A Letter from Pastor Andy
September 8, 2021
Dear U Park Family,
Have you ever had the sense that God was speaking to you? In our culture, that idea is often regarded with skepticism. We like to think that we live in a rational and scientific age, and history is littered with people who thought that God spoke to them and told them to do horrible things. I’ve known a few myself – and even if they didn’t sense that they were being led in morally horrifying directions, they seemed delusional to me.
But there are others who aren’t so easy to discount. I’ve known solid, self-aware people who I trusted who had very powerful experiences of being led by God. Sometimes they heard an actual voice. For others, it was a coincidence too symbolic to be coincidental, or a quiet feeling that became impossible to ignore.
This week will be the third in our worship series on the Biblical book of Exodus. We’ll hear the story of Moses’s call, when God speaks to him out of a burning bush. For those of us raised in church, the story is so familiar that we tend to take it at face value – maybe not even wondering about the scientific reality of it, but at least accepting it as one of the foundational stories of our faith. Yet Moses’s experience would have seemed almost as improbable to people in his day as it would in ours. Why him? Why then? And why, for the third time in the Exodus story, does God’s plan to free an enslaved people hinge on some unlikely person taking an enormous personal risk? I hope you’ll be in worship this Sunday as we reflect together on these questions and on what the story may say to us. We’ll worship on Sunday morning in the church Sanctuary at 10:00, and on Zoom at 11:15. The Zoom invitation will be sent out later this week with the weekly worship bulletin.
This weekend also marks our annual kickoff Sunday, when we turn the page into fall by starting Sunday School and Youth activities. We’ll serve sandwiches and cake, we’ll have games and a bounce house for kids, and welcome everyone into the new season in our church’s life! If you know someone who’s looking for a community to connect to, this Sunday would be a great time to invite them to church.
Also, please save either September 19 or September 26 after worship on your calendar. On those Sundays, we’ll worship from 10 – 11; then we’ll take a 10-minute stretch break and come back together in the Sanctuary for a “state of the church” meeting. These meetings will cover the same information on both Sundays, so there’s no need to attend both (although you’re welcome to do so if you would like). I’m planning on no more than an hour. We’ll hear from our staff about the church’s ministry, and we’d love to hear your thoughts and questions. As we continue our slow and somewhat halting emergence from the pandemic, I want everyone to know where we stand and our plans for the future, so I hope you’ll join us. For those who can’t, we’ll make sure that notes and a PowerPoint will be available to summarize the content of our talk.
Even in this difficult time, our church has a lot to celebrate – and most of all, I’m celebrating the gift of being in ministry with you. I hope to see you in person soon, and if you’d like to talk about the church (or anything else), please feel free to give me a call or send an email.
Grace and Peace,