Thursday, August 23, 2012

We better go back to church...

Please note that the following blog post may be depressing and sad to those living in denial that summer is coming to an end.
(DENIAL: It is not just a river in Egypt anymore)
Please be advised.

Well, the summer is wrapping up.  The back to school shopping is all around us and so with some excitement, some concern, some apprehension, and some indifference (and this is just the parents) the school year is starting.  Though students are dealing with these emotions and more, but like it or not it is time to HEAD BACK TO SCHOOL!

Now, this also starts all sorts of school year schedules and calendars.  Different bed times, weeknight activities, homework, sports practice, fitting in family time, and for many it means returning to a more regular Sunday Worship Attendance schedule.  Vacations are over and we all feel like we need to "Go Back to Church" and so the week after school starts everyone comes back and some more sheepish than others.

Now, what if someone said..."Good Morning.  Nice to see you."  do you immediately go into explanation of where you have been and why you haven't been there or do you just embrace the greeting and realize it is just a greeting and this is why you come each week you are able, to see your "family"?

Often people feel like they are coming back and that people expect an explanation for where they have been other than church on Sunday.  Instead why not just greet them and if the conversation arises where people ask about your summer, so be it.  Though there should be no sense of judgement or need to explain where you have been.  While people do miss and care when you are not here, we all have "LIFE STUFF" and it at times means Worship is not able to be at the top each week.

So as we get toward September as the days grow shorter, school and school activities start, and calendars are being made up, don't forget about worship time with us at Upper Dublin.  As a community, we become energized when we all gather together and we want to share in life with each other, so the "LIFE STUFF" can not just take on a negative connotation, but a positive one as well.  We will pray when needed for healing, health, and support.  Though we want to celebrate with you the GREAT THINGS TOO!  The great things, no matter the size, going on in your lives.

Spin the negative sense of "LIFE HAPPENS to a positive:

Friday, August 10, 2012

Come and see....We have some big things on our Radar too!

Sitting here are the walls of water come down, I thought it was time to post.  It sure is nasty out there today?  I mean wind, rain, lightning, thunder, and this old lady on a bike just pedaled by the window and yelled something about a dog? (Yes, that is a Oz reference) and in pulling the radar up, it seems like the whole area is getting the same treatment.

So, we have had a pretty dry summer and in order to fix that it seems all the rain is coming this week and a good portion today!  The good news is, that crops are getting rain, plants are being watered, grass is coming back, ponds, creeks, and the scorched earth is being watered.  Sure it is scary when it comes in large amounts in a short time, but it is about taking life as it comes.  Like life, we get what seem like drenching rain and droughts.

Every day we are given many challenges in life and we all take them as they come.  Some are small and some are bigger, but that is what makes UDLC's Community strong.  We come together and share them with each other, pray for each other and check in with each other.  There are times when these things (good and bad) keep us from being in community each week, but the family we have makes UDLC a place we want to come and find that peace, if only for a couple hours.  Though that is what community is about and it is what we all want to share with our friends who have not expierenced that here or at any church family.  It could they never had it growing up, or not since they were young, or it could be just a short time and they are looking. 

On September 9th, we are having a Church Picnic and we are excited to celebrate and have fun together, but there is another oppurtunity for us all.  It is a chance for us to bring our friends and neighbors to come meet our family at UDLC and meet them in a more relaxed situation.  It is a chance for them to meet your family and see what brings us all to UDLC.

It is not always easy to invite your friends and neighbors to church on Sunday's.  People will tell you that the most controversial conversation topics are Politics and Religion.  So rather than talk about it, why not say "Come and See" UDLC for yourself.

In John, Chapter 1, two times people are told in Verse 39 and 46 to "come and see".  If that was the way Jesus called disciples, shouldn't this be a good method for us even now in 2012.  Make the invite easy and say, "Come and See".

So, if you want to introduce your "Sweet Home Upper Dublin" to people, rather than trying to try and explain it, just say  "COME AND SEE".  If they say, they are not sure just say all I am saying is "Come and See" it for yourself and decide for yourself what you think and if it is a fit for you.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

He's back and this time he is staying.

So everyone has pretty much had a first day.  It could be school or work, but first days come with excitement and a little bit of nervousness.  Well, yesterday was the first day for Upper Dublin.
Oh sure, you think, "Hey The Reverend Keith Anderson started so that is the first day you mean."  That is correct, but also incorrect.  (Listen we are Lutheran, the only absolutes are Grace and Casseroles).  Though it is a first day that has been in the works for months.  It is the first day with the staff being fully together to begin what will be years of ministry together and the congregational family who just got 6 new human members and one dog. 

It is was the first day for all of us.  The first day when everyone is dealing with new office locations, new staff members, and if you leave it to the Youth Director, Ray Hopkins to greet the new pastor with "Hey, I thought you would be taller."  However it is everyone's first day.  Sunday it will be the first Sunday with both pastors and ready to start down the discipleship path together. 

We have been down a relatively short journey for a church in the "Call Process", but that does not mean it was easy on many the community.  We had great leadership in Pastor Dyan Lawlor and our church leadership, but now we can shoot for the stars and beyond.  We can take on more and continue to grow even more than before.

People call the weekend after Labor Day Weekend, "Rally Day" which is designed to be a point when we all rally back at church after summer, but that first means that we haven't been here this whole time.  We have been here, we have had Vacation Bible School, went to the Appalachia Service Project, sent youth to New Orleans, had a parsonage project kicked off and worked to have it ready in "weeks", and we will have a church picnic September 9th.  So UDLC may not need to "Rally", but perhaps celebrate as a whole family and welcome the fall and coming school year.