July 25

I am glad to be back from a wonderful time away with extended family. Thank you to everyone who stepped up during my time away.
This week, in spite of temperatures and a calendar that would suggest otherwise, we are in a time of transition – from summer to fall. School begins today for many teachers and next week for many students. At church, we will be transitioning back into our fall activities and over the next few weeks, there will be several emphases that call us to new beginnings.

This Sunday, July 29, we will collect our 5th Sunday Benevolence Offering. Over the past two weeks, we have had an influx of requests for help. Your generous giving enables Union to minister to those in need.

Sunday, August 5, is our annual Homecoming worship and meal. This year we will be recognizing Union’s 166th year in Oconee County and all of those saints who have had a vital part in the many ministries that have emanated from this place.

Sunday, August 12, will be our annual Blessing of the Backpacks. All teachers, students, and those who serve in education in any capacity are encouraged to bring their bags to worship and we will offer words of blessing and prayer for a good school year. This year’s tags are from Illustrated Children’s Ministry, the organization that has developed our Advent coloring posters the past few years and the Sunday School curriculum used by our Children and Youth. One side of the tag will say, “Blessed To Be A Blessing,” an acknowledgement of God’s blessing to us, and a call for each of us to be a blessing to others.

Sunday, August 19, will be our All-Church Fall Kickoff Party at Hal and Sharon Tatum’s lake home. More details will be coming. Put the date on your calendar for a wonderful afternoon of good food, good fun, and good friends.

This Sunday I will begin a new sermon series from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, entitled Growing Up In Christ. Living in an agricultural county, we are surrounded by fields of beautiful crops that have been lovingly tended and cared for. A strong Christian life needs the same care as the crops. What do we need to do to “tend” our own lives, so that strong and healthy growth is the result? Let’s explore this question together. I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we begin with Ephesians 1:-3-14, God’s Verbs.