The Advent and Christmas seasons at Gainesville First is always such a wonderful time. You are such joyful and generous people. The staff and I are looking forward to anticipating and celebrating the coming of Emmanuel.
One Sunday last month, I proposed being a church that is an agent of life and community transformation requires risk, pain and loss. I talked about how Jesus issued an invitation to some fishermen to follow him. Scripture says they left everything and followed him.
As United Methodists, we celebrate Laity Sunday this month. I think one Sunday is a nice gesture but it isn’t enough of a celebration, especially for us! Laity comes from layperson and layperson refers to a member of the church. A member like you.
It’s easy for us longtime churchgoers to become set in what we think of when we think of church. There is a familiarity which breeds a comfort. After a while, church becomes routine and predictable, and we get bored. Church becomes a box to check, and other things subtly climb their way up our priority list.
There are rhythms and seasons in our lives. As July ends and August begins, the relaxing days of summer give way to busy schedules that come with the start of school and the Fall season. New seasons give us opportunities to begin new routines.
During the Cold War, the Strategic Air Command operated 24 hours a day as a shield of protection for our nation. This meant there were always fully combat-configured bombers flying to assure the safety of our nation. Since these planes flew constantly, the challenge became of how to keep them fueled without landing.
I was raised in the church and as a little girl, I always felt close to God. My mom was a strong, but not vocal, Bible scholar. Through her influence and God’s presence, I always had a desire to do more in the church, but my opportunities to serve were limited by my faith tradition (and my talent).