We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. – Hebrews 6:19

Hey Friends,

This weekend begins one of the most long awaited, talked about, disagreed on, times of the year. A time that is so divided that people even make license plate holders and car magnets proclaiming their house as a divided home during this time. No, it’s not an election. No, it’s not a concern about a stance. It is the return of college football season (with apologies to those who played last weekend). What I find so amazing about college football is the hope that exists at the beginning of every season. You hear refrains like, “this is our year” or “with our schedule we should easily be in the playoffs”. Without taking a snap or a single minute of actual game time, there seems to be this larger- than- life sense of hope.

Hear me on this; I think it is a wonderful thing! Within the difficult realities that we are all facing in our world and even within the confines of our communities, any amount of hope is a good thing. I believe hope is far more contagious than any of the other contagious things in the news. Don’t believe me? Show up at almost any college football game this weekend. Or check out someone like Carlos Whitaker on social media who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through Instagram for some incredible people and organizations, just by offering people a little chance to hope. I think sometimes we just need a little reminder that hope is possible, that the worst things are not the last things, and that the difficult moments in our lives are invitations to hope for something more than we could ever imagine. That, in my opinion, is the power of the Gospel. It is GOOD NEWS! It brings hope and as the writer of Hebrews reminds us, our hope in Christ and the power of resurrection is an anchor for us. The ship may drift slightly but it will not be moved because of the hope we have in Christ! Let’s be dealers of hope this week. Let’s share stories of what God is up to. Yes, let’s cheer on our favorite team, but more importantly, let’s cheer on our favorite people close to us. Because we’ve got hope, yes we do, we’ve got hope, how ‘bout you?!

While I’ve got you here, I want to share a couple of things that are coming up in the life of our church. First, I know its Labor Day weekend, but I hope you’ll join us in worship Sunday. Even if you are traveling, your church can go with you by joining us online. This week we will talk a little about work and rest and how we can build some healthy rhythms. Then, on the 12th, we will kick off our new series called “Walk This Way” where we will talk about our discipleship journeys.

On the 12th we will also begin something new. We want to continue to be cautious and careful with our gathering experiences and would encourage you to have conversations with your health care provider about what is best for you. That said, we want to provide a service that is “mask required” as an option for people who feel that would suit their family’s needs. This service will be at 8:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary. This service will be unique in its structure and should last about 40 minutes in order to allow people to get to Sunday Groups. We will continue this service through the end of October and then re-assess the needs of the church and community. Our 9:30 Modern and 11:00 Traditional services will remain “masks recommended”. I continue to have hope that we will see this spike in cases and hospitalizations subside, but until that time, we want to provide options for every comfort level. Thank you for your understanding and your continued support!

Hoping this is your team’s year,

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