For this Friday's Five, share with us five transformations that the coming fall will bring your way.
Bonus: Give us your favorite activity that is made possible by the arrival of fall.
I'm really gearing up for fall at the church - our big kick off is a week from Sunday! It doesn't seem possible that students are heading back to school already and that fall is almost here - especially when August is usually so hot. We are actually in store for a very early fall according to some accounts - a frost is expected by mid-september, which will wreak havoc on the already late crops here in the midwest. lots of prayers needed here!
As for the five biggest transformations of this fall:
#1 - We are getting another kitty! We love Turbo so much that we think he needs a friend. There are kittens at the local vet and we are going on tuesday to pick one of the gold ones up. He will be about 6 weeks old then and is getting his vaccinations on Monday. I can't wait to have another addition to our family!
#2 - I will be teaching confirmation this fall and spring at my church. They normally do confirmation for 5th/6th graders, but there are a number who were missed a couple years ago, so we have about 9 kids spread out from 5th - 9th grade. I'm looking forward to working with them!!! and i'm going to be trying out the claim the name resource... but i can't decide if i want to do it just for the fall or for the whole year. we are doing confirmation during sunday school time - which means that they will be there for church for sure, but if we do the whole year long program, i won't be involved in any other sunday school stuff all year long. This is my FIRST time doing confirmation... eek!
#3 - My biggest personal goal for this fall is to transform my body. I really need to exercise more and need to build some kind of routine. And I think transformation really is the right word for it, because I need to change inside and out. I've done it before, so I know that it is possible... but it will definately take more willpower than I'm currently exhibiting.
#4 - My biggest transformation around the church will be in my personal visitation ministry. While I may seem to others like an extremely outgoing person, I am so anxious about visiting people. I talk myself out of it most of the time. I have been fairly consistent about visiting people in the hospital (when i know they are there) and in the nursing home (I do a service there monthly and spend time after visiting) and somewhat with people who are homebound - but I really need to get out and start making the rounds with the whole church. Especially those people who are members but I have never seen or met in the almost eight months I've been there. I know it will make a huge difference, but I can't work up the guts to do it. I'm pretty sure once I do it, I'll wonder what the big deal is, but its a step that terrifies me about ministry.
#5 - One thing I have tried fairly hard to do since I have been in this church is to change up the order of worship with every new season. We had one liturgy for the season after epiphany, another for lent, another for after easter, and now we are in another for the season after pentecost. I'm starting a new sermon series with our fall kick-off, and think it's a good time to change up the liturgy again. that way we don't get too tied to any one way to worship and it helps the church to be a bit more flexible. I'm excited to think about new possibilities and ways to incorporate prayers, hymns, etc., into the service. For example: in this season after ephiphany, we have sung our prayer for illumination as "Spirit of the Living God" - but during Epiphany we sang "Thy Word." Other times, it is a spoken prayer. One of my big changes this fall is to add a mission/stewardship moment before the offering each week and to invite people from the congregation to share about an way our offerings and our pledges this fall help to support the ministry of the worldwide/local church.
Bonus: I'm actually pretty excited for high school and college football to start back up! I'm a big fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes and so I can't wait to catch a few games (we often had the SEC games when we lived in Nashville) - either on tv or in real life... and my family has tailgated in Iowa City at the games, so we might go join them a few times. It will also be neat to see what the spirit is around this small town with their local high school for football games. I'm looking forward to getting more involved with the students in their school activities and showing up a bit more.