From the Pastor

(September 2021)

As of this writing, I have one more Turntable Gospel sermon to preach.  Allow me to start by reflecting on this for a moment and say thank you to the congregation!  I can’t remember having so much fun preaching as I have these last few weeks, and the congregation’s response has been wonderful.  Not only have we had the chance to talk about these few songs, but you have shared so many songs that have meant something to you, and I’ve really, really enjoyed this small glimpse into your own spiritual journeys through the music you love.  I’m most grateful!


The series has reminded me of a fundamental truth:  we are always in the process of being spiritually formed.  We’ve caught a glimpse of the powerful spirituality in our music, but we could just as easily do another series around the television and movies we watch, our labor, the books we read, our children’s activities, even a morning cup of coffee.  This is one of the great mysteries of the Christian faith – EVERY part of our lives contributes to our spiritual health and well-being.  We are a sacramental faith.


The question in front of the Christian, then, is not IF we will be spiritually formed, but HOW.  If we have struggled as a culture to grow in faith, hope, and love, it’s not because spiritual formation has failed us, but because we have failed to be intentional about spiritual formation.  For every positive song, every meaningful book we consume, we may stumble upon a show or song that is equally unhealthy.  Are we choosing healthy places that will move us in the direction of Christ and his cross, or are we hoping to get there by happy accident?  Friends, we can’t wish our way to faith.  It is a constant decision that we make.


Every year, as autumn starts poking its red, yellow, and orange head around the corner, I double back and check on my own spirit, and wonder about this very thing.  As church begins a new season, we have a great opportunity for introspection, and to recommit ourselves to well-worn pathways that will help us in our journey.


I am pleased to announce that after a long season where our congregation’s spiritual formation opportunities were such a challenge, we are finally able to announce an autumn full of spiritual formation opportunities!!  We’ll be offering confirmation this autumn/winter for the first time in my pastorate.  Our adult Sunday School class will be back after 18 months.  We will continue to offer hybrid small group options through the week.  Our children’s Sunday School program will be returning in a hybrid format.  There are a great many options for spiritual formation this autumn, and that’s fabulous.


So, this autumn, we want to encourage you to choose spiritual formation, to join with a committed community of believers to walk this path together, to allow other to invest in you and the spiritual journey you are on.  For when we unite the spiritual formation that happens all around us with the choices we make toward our own spiritual health, we can be confident that in time we will learn a little bit more about what it means that you and I are both a new creation.


Peace and Good –


Pastor Sam