This is the opening line in our Commitment Statement. Wait…did you know that Dunbar Ryerson has a Commitment Statement? It was created in the time leading up to our amalgamation. Members of both former congregations worked long and hard on it, and all of you had opportunities to comment along the way. We sought to capture what is important to us, what we wanted to commit to as a congregation formed anew in Christ.
Early last spring the ministry staff met to focus on the coming fall, to consider our theme and programs. One of our musicians, Greg Caisley, challenged the rest of us: “We have this Commitment Statement. We say as a congregation these things matter to us. Let’s prove it.”
And so, our Sunday and Wednesday worships will focus on the Commitment Statement. Each week we will use both the Bible and the Commitment Statement as our texts, and consider how we are challenged, affirmed, called and blessed by the Gospel and our efforts to enflesh the Good News.
The Scripture this Sunday is from Galatians 2: 16-20: “…and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” Initially I was staggered trying to imagine day to day living as if it was Christ driving the day’s agenda and not me. And then I comforted remembering that the grace of God is infinite and with an openness to that transforming grace, I might just have a chance. And a fresh start each morning. Or, perhaps when Christ is alive in us, we don’t have to marshall up the memory of grace – it is offered to us freely.
And, speaking of the Bible, your staff, along with our communications consultant Cherie Payne, have been working feverishly to prepare a Program Guide for the fall. Every committee chair has had input and reviewed early drafts, to try to include as much as we can about what is happening in the months leading up to Christmas. The preparation included a lot of cross-checking to try to ensure we are planning collaboratively as a community, and have the space to host the events. You’ll see that at times more than one thing is happening at once – we know that, and we know that with a larger congregation not everyone seeks the same experiences. Also, this Guide was planned with an eye on the community outside the church as well as within, in the hopes that others will be interested in some of what we are doing.
Having said that there are a lot of plans in place, doesn’t mean that we can’t and won’t have other things pop up that many of us will want to do. It DOES mean that we won’t be able to be as spontaneous as we used to be – we’ll all have to check with the wildly interconnected programming and busy building bookings to make sure we’ve got the times and the space right.
God willing, the creek don’t rise, and the printer doesn’t jam (which is a possibility with this heavy printing load), the Fall Program Guide will be available to you this Sunday morning. We will also put it on the web page as soon as possible. I want to thank all the staff for the enormous amount of effort that went into putting this together. And all of you who read it over carefully, offered corrections and edits, and helped nurse it along. We are SO EXCITED to have this to offer you – and pretty proud of our first effort. We hope you are too.
This Sunday is our Kick Off Sunday – after worship there will be lots of displays about things happening at Dunbar Ryerson. Events you can participate in, and places where you can offer your gifts and services. It’s going to be a great morning – Chancel Choir and The Band are back, children and youth programs are starting… you don’t want to miss. And we don’t want to miss you.
There is lots coming up! For all this Sunday’s announcements, some of which are not in the Fall Guide, click here.– Debra