My Dear Church Family,

Today’s Monday Musings contains two announcements and one long introspection with a call to action. Firstly, please make plans to stay after the September 25 Worship for our brief and important congregational meeting. The only topic is to approve the amended bylaws and constitution – and to do so, we need you (and at least 49 other members) there either in the sanctuary or via our webcast.

Also, mark your calendars for the revived, reboot of Kettle Fest on Saturday, November 12(What? It’s not on Sunday after service? No! We’re trying something different and will have our churchwide pitch-in on a Saturday early evening.) We’ll provide one big stew (Sam Troxal’s famous burgoo) and you’ll bring a covered dish to accompany that one – like cornbread or salads and pie. Make plans now and let’s pack the house.

Finally, a reflection. As I announced in Worship yesterday, I have some worries that are on my heart. We (in our community, our church, and the world) have been through a most unusual three-year period, and your church leadership is struggling to contend with a variety of interrelated problems, including the fact that we have lost a number of members. Also, pledges, plate offerings, and other sources of income are down while expenses are on the rise. Any faith community would be contending with these issues after going through what we have gone through since 2019, but we cannot pretend these issues do not exist. 

So I have a couple of questions to consider: hy are you involved in First United Church? Why do you keep showing up in Worship, or keep giving of your time and resources, and keep participating in our outreach and other activities? Please be thinking about that as you consider additional ways in which you might be able to give. I can only answer for myself. I am here because I love the messages that I hear from the pulpit. I love the way in which Pastor Jessica smartly connects our ancient, sacred texts to modern situations and challenges. I love the call to action and the hard questions that we often wrestle with during worship. I also love that you all give and participate in so many ways. It is time to commit to growing our faith community again. Our main purpose for the church as outlined in the leadership retreat we had a month ago is growing a community of love and acceptance. Fulfilling that purpose requires all of us who believe to give of ourselves however we feel led. Folks who have moved on must do that in other faith communities – but those that stay with us – please help us in this purpose. While I am worried, I am not without hope and faith in you, the people of First United. If you love this church like I do, I hope you will recommit to attending Worship and fellowship events and join me in helping to steer this community towards a future that is bright as the promises of God.

With love,

Rebecca Keith, President

812-325-0145 or