As the very familiar passage in Ecclesiastes 3 says:
“For everything, there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”
This passage speaks to a ‘normal’ rhythm of life.
What we experienced in the last 2 ½ years was anything but normal. We weathered it as best we could (some days/weeks/months were better than others), and while we resist looking back or even naming the residual damage done, seeking a new normal will go a long way to help us learn, heal and grow.
The presumed author of Ecclesiastes is thought to be named Qohelet(ko-hel-et) (STAY WITH ME HERE, I HAVE A POINT), which is derived from the Hebrew root word which means to ASSEMBLE, GATHER. This was our calling before COVID sent us ‘round the bend’ and is STILL our calling as we adjust to this new normal.
There are so many opportunities to do this as we continue to re-assemble and re-gather as the body of Christ. YOU are a CRUCIAL part of that. We have BIG plans for so many events, missions and ministries, and we need YOU so that we live out our calling as disciples (not spectators) of Christ. Here’s our line-up for September.
Next Sunday Sept 11th
SUNDAY SCHOOL STARTS!!!! for students K-8th grade. (More on confirmation Class soon)
PEACEMAKING OFFERING BEGINS: The recipient of funds will be the AFSP( American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
ICE CREAM SOCIAL AND SCHOOL SUPPLY GIVEAWAY – (after worship in Reighart Hall). We will be dishing out “cool” school supplies (as well as Ice cream for ALL!) to people in the community, including clients of Loaves and Fishes. Please come to scoop, give and share in this special event!
SECOND SUNDAY will meet immediately after the IC Social, which will be catered by Town Deli. (You can have your dessert before your lunch!)
Sept 17th (Sat) Grand Opening of Gateway, a meeting place for community programs focused on health, education, and enrichment. This is in the room next to Loaves and Fishes. Please come out to celebrate this significant new resource for the community and the volunteers who made this dream come to fruition!
Sept. 25th BOONTON DAY 12 – 4pm. We will have a booth set up on Main street to reach/meet the community, including a prayer wall, and I will have a “Date While You Wait” table. (Before you get any crazy ideas….Please see my Aug 28th sermon or Google this amazing way to connect with people in the NYC subway from Thomas Knox).
As I look back upon Ecc 3, in light of where we’ve been and where we are following God’s call, I am going to highly redact Ecc 3 (PLEASE, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME):
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: (It’s a…) time to be born, (It’s a…) time to plant… (it’s a …) time to heal; (It’s a…) time to build up; (It’s a…) time to laugh; (It’s a…) time to dance; (It’s a…) time to gather stones together; (It’s a…) a time to embrace, (It’s a…) time to seek, (It’s a…)time to keep, (It’s a…) time to sew; (It’s a…) time to speak (It’s a…)time to love, and a time for peace.”
Seeking this new vision of Ecc 3 with you,