We'll be on sabbatical for most of August and September. So this newsletter will be for both months.
But, what the heck is a sabbatical, anyway?
It is sort of like a vacation, in that you seek to get away from routine and work and assignments. But a sabbatical is a time when you intentionally seek to rest, be refreshed, learn, renew your vision, and listen more intently to the inner voice- your own, and God's. I seldom do all of that if I am just on vacation. Then I just want to get away and have fun!
Vacation has as its root "vacate" meaning to leave, or empty. Sabbatical has as its root "sabbath", a time of spiritual attentiveness and abstinence from work. God commands sabbath for all of us because he loves us and wants us to be healthy and whole. But most of us in our culture observe it poorly, if at all. A sabbatical is a period to sort of "catch up" on the practices and solitudes that may have gone missing in our very busy lives.
This will now be the fourth sabbatical I have taken in my years of ministry, all of them since I started at Caledonia. Each has been a sabbath not only from Caledonia but from the other ministries I am engaged in. I am eager for the time and grateful to the church for extending it to me. You won't see me on Sunday mornings, or likely on Wednesday nights, either.
But I want to be clear that we are not trying to get away from you!! Not at all. You are our dear friends, and you do not need to avoid us or be afraid that you are infringing on our sabbatical. So if you want to talk or just want to hang out feel free to text or call us. What we are setting aside is our responsibilities, not you. The hope is that in doing so, we return refreshed and better able to do the work we are called to.
We can't all take a sabbatical, but we can all build sabbath into our lives, weekly and even daily. I would encourage you to do just that.
I also want to encourage you to continue attending church while we are gone. The deacons are working hard to make sure each Sunday is covered with a speaker and music. Please support their efforts by coming when you can.
Love you all!
PS Thanks to all of you for your concern and prayers over my swollen face! Your kindness was wonderful. Saw the dentist, who prescribed an antibiotic. The swelling and pain are about gone. I will have a root canal next week Tuesday, the day after the sabbatical officially begins!
Wednesdays - Every Wednesday Bible Study via Zoom - 7:30 PM
Thursdays - 8/4 - Church Board Meeting for August via Zoom - 7:30 PM
9/1 - Church Board Meeting for September via Zoom - 7:30 PM
Sundays - Every Sunday - Worship Service - 10:30 am in person and via Zoom.
8/7 - Communion Sunday
8/21 - Jefferson Prairie Free Concert - 4 PM - more info below.
8/28 - Coin Collection Sunday
9/4 - Communion Sunday
9/18 - New Sunday morning program starts at 9:15 in the basement - more info below.
Other News -
Communion - Communion will be on Sundays August 7 and September 4. If you are attending in person, the elements will be provided. If you are on Zoom and want to participate, please have your own ready.
Garden - Have you noticed how beautiful our garden area looks? Thanks to Rita Gillette who tended it in the month of July. Her efforts are so appreciated. We are in need of someone to take the month of August now. Please let Jennifer know if you would be willing to do that. It won't look so pretty if it doesn't have someone caring for it. We also need a September gardener.
Refreshments - There is always coffee on Sunday mornings and usually some kind of treats. Feel free to bring something occasionally to help with our fellowship time. It is such a good time to get to know others better or check in with people you already know.
Offering - There are two options for your offering: bring it to church on Sunday mornings and place in the plate at the back of the church or mail it to Nathalie Lyford. Thanks for your continued faithfulness with your offerings.
Kiddie Bags - Did you know we have new kiddie bags in the back of the sanctuary? These totes are filled with things to keep little ones occupied during church. If you see someone visiting with little kids, be sure to direct them to the bags to use during church. Thanks to Jill Gray for putting them together! (she also brought the instruments!)
Hospitalized - Please continue to pray for Dan Akerlund in Swedish American. They hope he will soon to moved to rehab. Keep Sara in your thoughts and prayers as well. Also, Deb Schroeder is asking for prayers for a friend who had a brain aneurysm. He will be in ICU for a least 3 weeks. Gary and Jennifer have a friend Todd who also is hospitalized with extremely serious heart and lung problems. Keep him in prayer too.
Free Concert - Jefferson Prairie Lutheran is inviting us to a free outdoor concert on Sunday, August 21 at 4:00. The band is Good Vibrations which plays easy listening and classic rock with a beach vibe. Bring a lawn chair. There will be snacks and desserts for sale. In case of rain, the event will be moved inside.
New Class - Plan on coming to an 8-week series on Sunday mornings before worship starting Sunday, September 18. God's Attributes as Displayed in Nature is the title of the series. We will gather from 9:15 -10:10. The class will be led by Al Steely. He is a science teacher at Christian Life and a photographer. He will come with his slide presentation of God's creation. He will show how much God cares for us... by showing the care and detail God put into nature. There will also be a time for questions and answers. We will meet in the church basement. All ages welcome!
Third Annual Chili Cook-off and New this year... Dessert Bake-Off ! - Once again we will gather for a fun time of eating and competition! This year we are adding another level to our fun by having a dessert bake-off alongside our chili cook-off. So start working on your recipes for chili and desserts! Tentatively we will gather outside at the church on Saturday, October 15 at 5:00 PM. Starting Sunday, September 25 there will be a sign-up sheet for chili and desserts contestants, plus various other things we need for the night. We will have a bonfire too!