It's Only November?

By Patti Pateros, Director of Community Building

One night last week, I woke up around 3am with terrible heartburn.  I laid there wondering what I had eaten the day before that would bother me so much.  I have a pretty bland and boring diet so it didn't make sense.  Then I realized I had been dreaming about the Fall Fellowship Dinner -- and Mexican food! I often lay awake at night planning or worrying about upcoming events, but this is the first time I remember not only dreaming about an event but also having a physical side affect (insomnia doesn't count).

I have been stopped quite often over the last few weeks by parishioners who comment about the exciting start to our program year.  It indeed has been a full and busy two months.  Since the beginning a September, we have had four weddings and a funeral (not starring Hugh Grant*), four fellowship events, our major outreach fundraiser, the start of three new adult formation groups, the continuation of three ongoing adult ed classes, the kickoff of a comprehensive Adult Forum program, a diverse offering of Hands-On Outreach opportunities, and the introduction of a dynamic new website.

WHAM, our high school youth group, is experiencing the best Sunday attendance in years as they prepare for the first parish-sponsored overseas mission trip.  Our junior high schoolers are learning to overcome obstacles in their journey to young adulthood, and began the year with an overnight retreat.  Grades 4-5-6 are serving the parish and the community as they oversee our seasonal outreach projects.  The lower grade levels are having fun learning and exploring what God's love means to them.

Our ministries are active and engaged, serving the needs of our parish and our community.  We have begun a Saturday evening Eucharist and are preparing for four special liturgies to be celebrated in November, including our first Celtic Liturgy and Healing Service.  And while all of this is going on within the building, there are small groups of parishioners meeting regularly for fellowship outside the confines of our space.

This is what keeps me up at night, and now gives me heartburn.  It's not that I worry about their success, but rather that everything is complete and thought through before being presented to the parish.  Every member of the staff has had a part in the planning and execution of most of these events, ministries and programs -- from the input of information on the website to the development of our youth group curriculum; from the set up for a special event to its clean up.  We are proud of the work we have accomplished.

And it's only November. We've barely begun our program year. We've got a long way to go and an exciting and fulfilling year for all members of the parish, young or old, male or female, single or married.  With your continued financial support, our adult and youth formation programs will remain strong and stimulating, our liturgies spiritual and uplifting, our ministries meaningful and productive, our fellowship events creative and fun, and our buildings and grounds safe and well-maintained.  Thank you for doing your part in making our 2010 Canvass Campaign a success; its success ensures a promising year ahead.

*Four Weddings and a Funeral is a 1994 British romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant.