We have come to call the first Sunday after Labor Day when we kick off a new program year “Rally Day.” To rally means to come together again to renew an effort; to join in common cause; to recover and rebound after illness; a mass meeting of people for a purpose. Each of these definitions seems appropriate just now as we begin a new program year of Christian nurture and discipleship. Continuing to emerge from this long pandemic season we have much to celebrate as a community beginning to regather.
This weekend some things will be similar to past Rally Days, and some things are changed as we continue to love one another by practicing responsible pandemic safety precautions. Worship in the Sanctuary at 10:00 a.m. will be followed by a lunch on the front lawn – from a food truck this year! – and there will be information about how to engage in various ministry opportunities.
What has changed is that during worship our children and youth will gather separately, in the Education Building and Foerderer House respectively, as a way to keep physical distance and in recognition that not all of our younger participants have had the opportunity to be vaccinated.
For those who are used to enjoying the option of worship in the Chapel at 8:00 a.m., please know we are not yet ready to reinstitute that service. The Chapel is under renovation this fall, and weekly communion in a smaller space does not feel like a safe undertaking. We hope the early birds will consider joining the Sanctuary worshippers where there is ample space and the joy of being one BMPC worshipping community for a time.
With these changes to our usual rhythms, we are nonetheless looking forward to September’s annual increased sense of community, of reunion after the comings and goings of summer, and a fresh start to the year of opportunities for mission, service and growing discipleship that stretch out before us.
I hope that all who feel inclined will join us on campus for this Sunday’s Rally Day, and that those of you who do not yet feel so inclined will tune into worship online and consider the long list of bulletin announcements about opportunities for increased engagement.
In this fraught and complicated time, we need community, we need one another, we need the church as a reminder that Christ is ever in our midst leading us forward together to work for the common good. Therefore, in body and in spirit, let’s rally for renewal and the joining together again to celebrate our common vocation of discipleship!