September 4, 2019
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says our God, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
This Sunday begins Plymouth’s church calendar year! Of course, this is no ordinary year. Together, we begin the journey into our 150th year as we have for a century and a half—doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with God. How exciting!
This festival Sunday, September 8 at 10:30 am., the music will beautifully soar through joyful voices and instruments alive with song. We will celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion together. Your ministerial team will be leading the youth, offering healing prayers, being present, and leading with heart. There will be a children’s sermon led by the Director of Faith Formation and seminarian Jennifer Castle, and preaching, and greeting, and loving, and remembering who we were, who we are and who we shall be.
And as the scripture suggests, we have plans, indeed. Our plans are to lay stones that will empower us to be church, plans to help us grow in our faith, and plans to restore our energy so that we might live into the resilience God has embedded in our collective spirit. And we hope to join with God’s plans and walk on the God’s path.
God’s path is welcoming but doesn’t always seem clear. The path is often “…grassy and wanting wear,” as the poet Robert Frost would pen, longing for the feet of disciples willing to trust God’s direction. We are here to celebrate because as the body of Jesus Christ, we decided to journey even when there was no map. That is deep and abiding faith.
The Jeremiah text is one of radical hope in the midst of much hopelessness, and for us, it is a declaration that our future as Plymouth Church is pregnant with possibilities despite the challenges. It is a statement that where we have been has led us to this graced place where God dwells. Forward we go with God as our helper.
As we begin yet another year, may we commit that this will be one not like any other. May we vow to be a community of prayer, to pray for each other, for our leadership, for our church. May we be set on unity and inclusion, stepping back when it is necessary to hear the voices straining to be heard. May we whole-heartedly support our worship and activities with commitment and excitement. May we lift up the special and unique gifts of Plymouth, while also enlarging our willingness to acknowledge where God seeks to transform us. May we vow to be the ones who start the conversations on how to be more just and invoke peace in all that we do.
May we see clearly our 2020 vision, and know that it shall be a bright day ahead.