Notes from the Pastor – September 2023

In the words of public theologian Taylor Alison Swift, “August slipped away like a bottle of wine” and to be honest, I’m more than ready to pop the cork on September.

I have always adored the season of Fall: flannels and sweaters, spooky décor, crisp air, beautiful leaves, and pumpkin everything (though I maintain that spiced apple cider is the superior autumnal hot beverage).

But having spent two thirds of my life in school, I still associate September with a return to study. I’ve always been a voracious learner, and so the beginning of a new school year was always very exciting for me. I still look longingly at the rows of notebooks and pencil sharpeners I have no need for every time I’m in Target.

Luckily, this job gives me a chance to scratch that particular academic itch.
Beginning September 10, we start a new “school year” at Central Christian Church, which means we’ll begin offering Sunday School again for kids 13 and under, exploring an all-ages study of the Beatitudes from Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount.

But the importance of learning is not limited to our youngest Disciples. Our faith is something that must be tended and nurtured, stretched and questioned. The word used in the New Testament for ‘disciple’ literally means ‘student,’ or one who seeks to learn.

The conversations we have had in Faith Formation have been some of the most illuminating and encouraging that I have ever had, and a huge part of that is because everyone brings their own unique stories to engage with the topic of the day.

If you’ve never participated in Faith Formation, consider giving it a try this Fall. We’ll be exploring the theme of How to Be a Disciple, beginning with a three-part series in September on examining our sources of theological insight—how do we hear, discern, and listen to what God is trying to tell us?

Both Sunday School and Faith Formation meet at 9am on Sundays, before worship, and we’ll have plenty of coffee and tea for the caffeinated catechumens and nocturnal novitiates, and light refreshments for the kids.

Looking forward to a Fall that is full of opportunities to learn together,

Pastor Stephen.