June Family Talk
Aaah, summer! School’s out, schedules slow down, and opportunities to do things that are...well, maybe a little “out of the box,” abound! Just last week, Sharon and I sat down and pulled out our summer calendars to try and figure out all that goes into three months of getting a son ready for college, another son ready to start thinking about college, summer camps, church activities, mission trips, family vacations, a new work schedule (yep, that’s Sharon who took you to your table at Applebee’s the other night!)…
WAIT! I thought I said schedules slow down in the summer! Yeah...not really! If you’re a parent with school-aged kids at home...if you’re a grandparent caring for your grandkids while school is out...if you’re a student who is ramping up your work hours to save money for that car or college expenses...then the truth is, you’re just swapping one kind of “hectic” for another! What can your church family do to help?
Well, one thing we can do is back down on the number of activities going on around church, activities that add one more layer of planning and stress to your life. And, we can make the activities that we do have this summer a little more laid back and family-friendly. So, this year, instead of weekly activities every Wednesday night, we are having periodic fun events on Wednesdays and Fridays...times to grab the kids, the grandkids, or to come as a couple or single and have fun with your church family! Three “Movie on the Lawn” nights, Wednesday game nights, a fish fry, an ice cream social...fun times to just kick back and enjoy your “second family”! And of course, the traditional summer fun event is right around the corner...Vacation Bible School!
Another way to make summer a little more “laid back” at church is to relax our Sunday evening schedule. We’ll still be having evening worship at 6:00 pm, but beginning June 12, they will be held out at the Beacon. The time will be geared more toward conversational Bible study and Q&A times. You’ll have opportunities each week to ask questions about what you are hearing on Sunday mornings, about something that you have read in your quiet time, even about how we as Christians can have an impact on issues in our world, locally or globally. Which brings me to one more thing that I want to mention. During six of these “laid back” Sunday evenings, we will be discussing a topic that is anything but laid back...our brothers and sisters who are suffering around the world at the hands of Islamic extremists. Now, please don’t let that topic scare you off! I believe it is very important for us to understand the solidarity that we have with our fellow believers around the world, and I want us to be able to have times for conversation and prayer around God’s Word on this topic. The atmosphere will still be relaxed, and children will still be able to be a part of the experience. (I will ask Andi Hirsch, our children’s ministries director, to help us with any sessions that we feel might be in any way inappropriate for younger kids.) I feel that summer is the ideal time to have this conversation, and I want every member and friend of the First Family to consider setting aside these six Sunday evenings in particular to be a part of the process. And if you are the parent of a high schooler (since I know that, if your kids are like mine, they don’t race to their computers to read Pastor Steve’s column), please encourage them to be a part of these evenings as well. The first session on this topic will be Sunday evening, June 26th.
I’m looking forward to a great, if not relaxing, summer...I hope you are, too!