September 2012 Newletter

Dear Friends in Christ,

The United Methodist Hymnal includes a hymn lyric by Brian Wren that starts with the words “This is a day of new beginnings...”  As those who celebrate and follow a Risen Lord, we are people of new beginnings.  We share in the hopefulness of Israel when God proclaimed to them “Do not remember the former things or consider the things of old.  I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”  (Isaiah 43:18-19)  We rejoice in the good news of 2 Corinthians 5:17 in which Paul declares “If anyone is in Christ there is a new creation, everything old has passed away; see everything has become new.”  We live in awe of the One who sits upon the throne who says “See, I am making all things new.”  (Rev. 21:5)  We praise our God who promises growth, transformation and new life, who announces “I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.  But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating...”  (Isaiah 65:17-18a)  Our God is the God of new beginnings and our God invites us to enter into newness of life as we seek God’s holy kingdom, living in the light and love of Jesus Christ.

September is a time when things do begin anew.  Children return to school to start a new year.  College students head out for new adventures in learning and living.  Community organizations rouse from the lazy days of summer to pursue with new vigor the causes for which they strive.  The church also enters into a new season of worship, study and service as members return from vacation, Sunday School opportunities increase, weekday Bible studies resume, and a new season full of mission, outreach, fellowship, fun and faithful stewardship, kicks off.  “This is a day of new beginnings...”

As we move into September, may we be reminded that we love and serve a God who cleanses sinful souls, lifts sagging spirits, heals broken hearts, mends strained relationships, builds up communities, and yes, even brings new life in the midst of death.  We believe in a God who has great hopes for his children and eternal intentions for his church.

Sometimes, you and I can fall into a rut.  Sometimes, we fail to expect remarkable things despite our amazing God.  Sometimes, we act as if all that can ever be is what has always been.  Sometimes, we spend all our time looking back at what was instead of embracing the future that God longs to unleash.  Sometimes, we behave as if we aren’t really interested in new beginnings.

The apostle Paul writes to the church at Philippi:  “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.”  (Philippians 1:6)  God wants the church to thrive, wants his children to grow. Our God desires a wonderful harvest of faith and righteousness. Our God is ready and willing to do good work in us and through us.  Will we embrace the gift of new beginnings?

September is here, a new season full of new opportunities to love and serve the Lord.  September is here.  Let this be a time of new beginnings.

God bless you,

Rev. Peggy Ann Sauerhoff