From the Pastor

Rally for Central

Sacred stories, faithful practices, rebuilding community: these are the themes for our Rally for Central this year.

Normally, Rally Day is a one-day event that happens on the first Sunday after Labor Day. It’s a day to welcome people back to church after the summer break. The choir returns to worship. Sunday school teachers greet the students in their classrooms. Members and friends sign up for activities in the fall.

That’s what normally happens, but nothing is normal this year.

This year, we continue to worship virtually because of the pandemic. Yet we know how eager people are to see each other. The isolation of staying-at-home has come at a cost and we yearn for connection and community. We also know that parents are preparing their children to start a school year that will be unlike any other, with unique challenges and stresses.

The Rally Day committee took all of these factors into consideration when making plans for September. Here’s the plan:

· Instead of Rally Day, we will celebrate a month-long Rally for Central with new elements added to worship and church activities over several weeks

· To reconnect with people and offer interactive worship activities, we will deliver a prayer box to every household in the church

· The prayer box contains materials to help make worship at home more interactive

· Some in-person, outdoor activities will happen this fall, so check the calendar and watch your email

· Called to Care will do another round of wellness calls to check in on our members and friends

In this unusual and unsettling time, a time when we cannot gather together, let’s focus our attention on what’s essential in the life of the church.

We are a community formed by sacred stories. These include the stories of the Bible—creation, exodus, the words of the prophets, the parables of Jesus, the promise of the resurrection. They also include our stories—the daily events of our lives and the family stories that are passed from one generation to another.

We are a community shaped by faithful practices. We gather for worship, we offer prayers and praise to God, we sing. We also eat together, even virtually during communion and coffee connection. We serve other people by offering warm meals and canned goods and other necessities of life. In our personal lives, we are shaped by our routines like walking the dog,

doing yoga or exercise, reviewing homework with our children. All of these regular activities shape our identity.

Finally, we will rebuild our community during and after this time of social distancing. All of us can play a part by showing up for worship, participating in activities and Sunday’s coffee connection, reaching out to friends from church with phone calls and cards and text messages.

You are a beloved community and together we will continue to support and care for one another as we Rally for Central.

Grace and Peace,

Chris