Chip’s Message – September, 2012

I reviewed my calendar of the summer events at church, and it is clear to me that we have continued to nurture faith in the lives of our children, youth and adults.

  • Operation Overboard, this year’s Vacation Bible School, was awesome!
  • We commissioned Dorrit Nelson to travel to the Dominican Republic and a team to work in New Orleans.
  • Our services included
    • dancing to Vacation Bible School songs,
    • a Mission celebration service of the health and direction of our overall ministry,
    • the study of the life of David, his rise to power as well as his brokenness,
    • the commissioning of reflections on the mission trips and the Young Adult Volunteers and baptisms.
  • Add to that
    • the faithful leadership of our deacons with the Food Pantry and visitation,
    • the meals prepared for the hungry of Peekskill,
    • the amazing job Lisa Eliasson is doing already as the new preschool director,
    • and all the planning that goes on during the summer for a new church school year, new Adult Forum studies, and new themes in worship.

It is clear to me that our ministry is 365 days a year. Thanks to so many for living your faith. You are the evidence that we nurture faith so that we can live our faith.

Our September focus in worship will be on the Book of James. The author writes at one point, “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.” Faith was never meant to be a set of beliefs unless those beliefs lead to action. Faith is motion. Faith engages the issues of our times. Faith leads us into conversation about the direction of our ministry. Faith listens for God’s next steps for us. Faith grows and changes. It takes risks. Faith connects with God, one another and the world (our tagline on our website). Otherwise, it is a body without a spirit. And, my assessment of our summer ministry and that of our year so far, the Spirit is alive and well in us.

I’m looking forward to our fall schedule for many reasons. In Sunday School, our children focus on the scriptural theme of “Tests of Faith”. Our Adult Forum will be studying a variety of topics including a second round of faith and politics in October. Confirmation begins again with a new group of youth who will prepare to profess publicly their trust in Jesus Christ and willingness to live their faith with us. This nurture is crucial to our ability to live our faith.

Our Stewardship Commission will be inviting all of us into small group conversations this fall. During the Mission Celebration Sunday on July 8, we reviewed the vision of FPCY you all set for yourselves before you hired your next pastor. We’ve been working together to live into and expand this vision in our work together over the last three years. I’m hoping to share in conversation with you next steps to live into the vision even more. There is more in our vision than I can support on my own, and it is my hope that our generosity will support our expanding vision of our ministry and mission and the staff we will need to support it. Look for information from the Stewardship Commission about the small groups and to sign up for the discussion.

As fall begins, I hope you will look back with me and give thanks for God’s work among us, for all the ways we were beautiful feet who carried good news, for all the evidence of faith that is alive and active and moving in our ministry. Pray also for the coming work we will do, that the spirit will continue to give our body of Christ life to nurture faith and live faith for this world God loves so much.