In Touch September 2, 2011
Posted on September 2, 2011 by under Touché,

h3Forty Days of Joy/h3
emI thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now.  I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ./em (Philippians 1:3-6)

September 1 the roles in our house shift from me getting up early and making the coffee and Cathy making the bed, to Cathy getting up early, making the coffee and me making the bed. It is a clear sign that the season has shifted and the school and church program year has begun.  As we make that shift there are three things I want to place before you:!–more–

1)      strongForty Days of Joy-/strong Next Sunday, September 11 at 10 AM, all five of our worshipping communities will be together under the tent at Hopewell.  It will be our celebration Sunday and the kick- off of our span style=”text-decoration: underline;”Forty Days of Joy/span focus on Philippians.  The whole church will spend time in this very special letter of Paul.  With all the realities of a Post 9/11 world we will look at what it means to “Rejoice in the Lord always.”  On that day we are asking folks to sign up for a six week small group that will read Philippians together.  Those groups will start the week of September 18 and run through the last week of October.  In the large group on Sunday morning, small groups throughout the week and through personal devotions every day, we will look at the biblical understanding of joy.  Each Sunday we are hoping to have a “Testimony of Joy” from someone in our congregation who reflects this truth.  Our goal is to have 400 people in small groups for this season.  This is good news of great joy for everyone.

2)      strongA Pastor for Youth and Young Adult Ministries-/strong Our youth group is in a time of great excitement.  Having come off summer mission trips, there is a feeling of connection with kids and engagement with mission that is exciting.  We want to build on that with a strong program for the fall.  A critical piece of this is leadership.  Last spring I shared with you that Consistory had approved a preliminary search for a Pastor for Youth and Young Adult Ministries and authorized the pastors to explore potential candidates for that position.  Conversations and interviews have taken place with various people throughout the spring and at the beginning of this summer a couple from South Africa came before us as very strong candidates to replace Randy Prentiss and lead our youth ministry.  The connections of God’s timing and calling in this are too many to outline here, but Warren and Lynette Jee have worked with J-Life ministries in South Africa for many years, training youth leaders in worship and discipleship and leading in youth ministry themselves.  Consistory recommends them to the congregation to fill this position.  Warren and Lynette, through Skype, have met the entire consistory and some of the youth leaders at Hopewell.  On Sunday, September 18 at noon, we plan to have a Skype interview with a larger group of people involved with youth and any others interested.  Consistory has recommended unanimously that we go forward with Warren and Lynette and if all goes well on September 18, we will begin the process to bring them over here by the end of October.  In the meantime, plans are being made for the leadership of Randy Prentiss and a core group of committed people to make sure the energy that we recognize right now continues throughout the rest of the year.

3)      strongHurricane Irene-/strong The final thing I share with you is that we are looking into what steps we need to take to address the damage done by Irene.  People are assessing needs and responses.  We will take a look at what churches in our synod need help.  In the meantime our denomination is taking donations for Hurricane Irene relief at a href=”” .

September is here and the coffee is on.  I look forward to this season of joy.

Rejoicing always,