This trippy forest was just one small part of a
huge interactive art exhibit in Santa Fe called Meow Wolf.
These trees brought me immense joy.
Sunday, August 18th
Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
9:30 a.m. Service of the Lord's Day
10:45 a.m. - Summer Sunday School
Grace to you, and peace...
I thank you, EPC, for providing vacation time for your employees. Amber and I had a tremendously rejuvenating trip to New Mexico and northern California. It's good to be back at the church today.
Coming up on Friday evening, we are gathering for a Strictly Social event at the Grocery Brewpub (2823 Central Ave. in Homewood). Come on down and join us for a beverage or simply some hanging out time. There's a food truck with tasty grub in front, and Steel City Pops right next door. We'll be there from 7 until whenever folks decide to head home. I hope to see some of you there!
We gather again on Sunday for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost. As we turn our attention to the worship of God, we'll encounter Psalm 27 and challenging words from the Apostle Paul in the letter to the Romans. We'll seek to know Christ through song and prayer and silence and sacrament. And we'll be joined by Carson Redwine, a high school senior we know from the Birmingham Youth Gorup, who brings her guitar, her voice, and a special song she wrote about the sacred ground of Montreat. With school now in full swing for most, it's time to come back to church!
After worship, the kids will get one last chance at Summer Sunday School, and the adults will finish off our study of the Book of Daniel. (If you're going to be there, take a gander at chapters 10, 11, and 12!)
Next Wednesday will be our first Fellowship Supper of the '19-'20 season. We're starting with a time to simply catch up with one another. I'll also have my computer on hand to receive your What I Did on My Summer Vacation photos. The hard deadline for getting me your pictures is Sunday, August 25th. We'll share all the glorious pics on Wednesday the 28th.
Before I sign off, I want to address the Immigration/Sanctuary letter you may have seen news stories about in the paper or on the news. I signed that letter to express my and many in our congregation's voiced support, backed by our denominational position on these issues, for efforts to provide assistance, relief, love, and yes, even sanctuary, for all children of God.
I signed the letter while traveling. And I sincerely wish I'd had more time to check in with the congregation and, in particular, our Session, before signing, so I could explain my thinking. Having been part of the conversation that led to the drafting of the letter, I knew that I was not committing our building or our congregation to any particular responsibility or involvement -- particularly any that would require Session approval. I have heard, however, that at first glance the letter might suggest otherwise, and I understand that completely.
Of course, any actual steps the congregation might take to support these efforts would either require Session or congregational approval, or be up to individuals for participation, depending on the circumstances. I apologize that the letter was upsetting or surprising relating to our polity. (Truthfully, I am not the only Presbyterian minister in Birmingham explaining themselves on this today.)
Friends, drink lots of water and try not to melt. Remember the words of Psalm 19:
"In the heavens God has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy, and like a strong man runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hid from its heat."