Rally Day This Sunday: The Spirit is Moving!

posted Sep 14, 2018, 8:29 AM by Tricia Sheffield

Grace and peace to you in the name of God our Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, and our Advocate the Holy Spirit!

Over the summer, I’ve been planning and dreaming, asking afresh what God wants MRC to do and where God wants MRC to go in our local and global communities. I’ve been wondering what is the Holy Spirit up to now for the fabulous church of love. As you are aware, Red Bank Pre-K is no longer with us, and we are currently seeking a new ministry partner for the Education Building. At the same time, though, we are already enjoying having more space for events and classes, and a dedicated room for our Youth Group. 

That said, I remain committed to the vision that over time (It ain’t gonna happen over night!), we will become financially self-sufficient through our generous giving, have the space we need for the spiritual life of the church, AND have a partner in the Education Building. In a letter I sent over the summer, I asked all of us to pray, look at our budgets, and discern how we can increase our tithes and offerings so that we can become self-sufficient. I have complete trust in God for this vision because I’ve been sensing the Spirit moving in our congregation over the summer . . . that is for sure. 

Now, though, summer is gone and we are moving into fall. Now is the time to put our faith into action, relying on God’s faithfulness as we “write the vision and make it plain” (Habakkuk 2.2). I’ll admit it. I’ve been so looking forward to all that God has planned for us, especially for this Sunday which is Rally Day. If you’ve been away for the summer, or maybe even longer, I invite you to come “home” to MRC. As you are aware, all of God’s beloved are welcomed, all are affirmed, and all are celebrated. And if you know someone who is looking for a church to attend, this is the perfect time to invite that person. I know many in our congregation have come because they were extended a personal invitation from a member of MRC. That’s how the Holy Spirit works. That’s how we build the reign of God here on earth, by telling someone that we know a place where they will feel the love of God in a meaningful and profound way. Then that person brings all their gifts for ministry to the community, and the concentric circles of God’s love and grace keep going out and out and out  . . .

And, look at this! We still have all our regular programming, but we’ve also added a few new ministries this year.

  • Sunday worship, 10:30 AM. First Sunday of the month we gather around God’s table of welcome and grace for the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Afterwards, we will extend the  hospitality of grace and gather around another table for First Sunday Brunches. A free will offering will be taken to support the ministries of the church.
  • New Member classes will be held September 23/30, 9 AM, with new members joining on October 7. If you have been thinking about officially joining MRC, please come to these classes.
  • Middletown Reformed Church invites the entire community to a mid-week worship of prayer, healing and hope on the second Wednesdays of the month, 7 PM. In a world that seems so divided, come and have your body, mind, and soul refreshed. Come and experience the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. Worship dates: October 10November 7December 12.
  • Momistry, a once a month meeting of New Jericho Choir mothers and any other mother for a time to be together for good conversation and to talk about how our faith informs our parenting. Time is 6 - 7:30 PMon a Monday TBD.
  • World Communion Sunday, October 7. Worship will be Scripture and litanies that reflect the celebration of World Communion: “The Communion of Saints: Resources from the Worldwide Church” by Anne E. Zaki. This will be a multi-vocal, multi-gender, intergenerational worship.
  • MRC Rummage Sale, October 12-13, 9 AM - 3 PM on the Great Lawn of the Church and in the Education Building. We will have coffee, beverages, and hot dogs for sale for our guests. There will be face painting for the young ones, and church tours for those who want to learn more about us. You may bring any items for the sale to the Education Building. Please see Dara Steele or Patty Gallagher for more details.
  • Confirmation Class begins on October 28 and will meet twice a month through April. Students will join in May.

So, come to worship this Sunday at 10:30 AM to see what God is up to at MRC. Our New Jericho Choir will be leading us in song with several selections, and we will have a very special Blessing of the Backpacks with invited guest Suzanne Dice of The Backpack Crew. Beverly Bova Scarano has sent a flyer asking if we could please bring any of the following items for The Backpack Crew’s ministry: Snack Bars, Juice Boxes, Boxes of Cereal (large and small), Soups, Mac ‘n Cheese, Granola or Snack bars that kids like, Boxes of Raisins, Peanut Butter, Jelly, Cookies, Pop Tarts, Packages of Cheese and Crackers, and/or any other kind of snack or food. I will be preaching from James 3.1-12 and my sermon title is Speak Words of Wisdom.

I am excited to welcome you back to church this Sunday. The Spirit is up to something here; indeed, everywhere, and I can’t wait to see what it is!

In gratitude for the privilege of being your Pastor, and the holy call of loving you,

Pastor Trish

I hope you will join me in praying for all those in the path of Hurricane Florence. We have been there; we know the damage and sadness such a storm can cause. Lord, in your compassionate mercy, keep all people safe. And may we do everything we can to help clean up and support those in the aftermath. No matter our differences that seem so highlighted now in our society, we are always stronger and better together as one!