I pray you’ve had a wonderful summer. It’s been a great one at Aldersgate! We held our first community dinner in July. A team of seven adults went to Owego and made a difference for Christ helping to rehab a home that had been damaged two years ago in a flood. Several youth attended Kingdom Bound. Vacation Bible School was lots of fun and reached many children and families in our community. And that’s just a few of the things.
As good as the summer has been, I’m excited about the fall when the church will be back in full swing. I look forward to several things in September. September 8 is “Rally Day,” the day when Sunday school starts the fall programming.
Some of our small groups that have not met regularly over the summer will be re-starting. It’s a great time to get connected with a small group if you aren’t already. We’ll have tables set up in the Ide Center on September 8 to help you sign up for one of the existing groups or join a new group.
We plan to expand our reading program at English Village School and are looking for people who can spend a half hour to an hour each week reading with a young student. (If you are gone for a couple weeks from time to time, you can still be a part of this important ministry.) Those who worked with the students this past year made a difference in the lives of children and found it very rewarding. Sign up on the 8th or contact Pastor Anne.
Also on the 8th there will be an opportunity to learn more about RAIHN (Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network) and their work with the homeless. You can join others from Aldersgate and serve in this important ministry. There is training for people wanting to serve in that ministry on Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Summerville Presbyterian Church. On Sept. 8th, you can also sign up to help at the September Community Dinner.
On September 8 we start our emphasis on Focus on Our Future. We will be asking everyone to begin or to continue being intentional about praying for Aldersgate’s future. As the world changes around us so, too, we need to change to embrace our future. Focus on Our Future will have two parts. There will be a yearlong emphasis called: “ALL IN.” ALL of us will be challenged to INtercede (pray) for people we know who are not part of a worshiping community and/or do not know Jesus. Those who can’t name anyone outside of the church will be encouraged to get involved in activates that help them meet some new people. Step Two is to INvest in the lives of those we are praying for. Spend time with them. Get to know them as you pray for them. Then at some point, we trust that God will provide an opportunity to INvite them to worship or another church activity. As a church we will covenant to help you INtroduce them to Christ and INclude and INvolve them in the life of the church. It’s something ALL of us can be a part of. Our work isn’t done until ALL are IN Christ Jesus. Jesus calls us to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
In addition to starting to pray for the people you name for “ALL IN,” each family will receive a copy of “Remember the Future” by Bishop Robert Schnase. This is an exciting 28-day devotional leading us to pray for the church and change. The Church Council thinks it is such a good book that they want everyone to read and pray through it. We will add short-term weekly “Feedback Forums for our Future” so everyone will have a chance to talk about what they are reading and praying about. Those who are in small groups and Adult Sunday School classes will be doing the same thing during September and October. Forums, groups, and classes will be asked to record the main things that come out of each session that they want to share with the Church Council.
I pray you will take the time to be a part of this important time in the life of our church.
In Christ’s Love,