Dear Congregational Family,

1. Tubing: Yesterday we were blessed to be able to spend several hours tubing on the Allegheny River with Sue Hughes in Tionesta. God’s creation is certainly marvelous!

2. Fall Ministry: Our fall ministry schedule will soon begin in earnest! Please look for ways that you can participate. This is a wonderful opportunity to grow in your faith and enjoy fellowship with others. Some opportunities include: Children’s Choir, Bell Choir, Senior Choir, Kids’ Time, Journey Through The Word; Confirmation, SWAP (6-8 grade), TNT (9-12 grade), XYZ (eXtra Years with Zest), Craft & Sew, and Sunday School …. just to name a few!

3. Compassion International: This Sunday during Adult Sunday School we will be having a presentation about Compassion International. Many of you might remember Arnette Tobler, who used to present regularly until it seemed like the majority of our members were sponsoring needy children through this ministry. We have not hosted a presentation since Arnette passed away, and now most of these children have aged out of the ministry. This is a great opportunity to re-engage and to sponsor a child. There will be an opportunity to do so on Sunday! There will be a table near the elevator where you can sign up if you desire. Our world is filled with children who need to be fed, both physically and spiritually! Through Compassion International, we feed them in the name of Christ!

4. Sabbath Rest: During my sabbatical I did a lot of reading and research regarding “Sabbath Rest.” Just why did God give us a “seventh day” for rest? What are we to do with it? How important is it to God? How important is it to us? Those are all significant questions! I look forward to sharing more about this with you in the coming year.

This Sunday falls during Labor Day weekend, when the “toil of labor” is recognized and the importance of “rest from labor” is also recognized. I am going to be preaching on Jesus’ invitation, “Come to Me all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

In our culture today the concept, and even more so the practice, of fruitful rest is a foreign experience. I personally have so much to learn and practice about “Sabbath Rest!” I believe that this long-neglected gift from God is a healing balm for most of our anxieties and ailments. I would like for our congregation to become more intentional in practicing “Sabbath Rest.” This “rest” is not just on the seventh day. In Scripture, God develops this theme all the way to the eternal rest of heaven.

Here are a few insightful quotes:

    “All our life should be a pilgrimage to the seventh day; the thought and appreciation of what this day may bring to us should be ever present in our minds. For the Sabbath is the counterpoint of living; the melody sustained throughout all agitations and vicissitudes which menace our conscience; our awareness of God’s presence in the world.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel
    “Unless one learns how to relish the taste of Sabbath while still in this world, unless one is initiated in the appreciation of eternal life, one will be unable to enjoy the taste of eternity in the world to come.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel
    “The extent and depth of our Sabbath commitment is the measure of how far we have progressed in our discipleship and friendship with God.” – Norman Wirzba
    “When we become a Sabbath people, we give one of the most compelling witnesses to the world that we worship a God who desires our collective joy and good.” – Norman Wirzba

5. Sermon: Title: “The Gift of Sabbath: Cease & Celebrate; Rest & Recreate; Fast & Feast”
Text: Matthew 11:25-30

God bless you as we continue,
“Growing Together in our Faith as the Family of God,”

Pastor Carlson