How's your spiritual garden sprouting? Is your soil fertile and always ready for planting? What's already growing in your garden? Are you growing plants from seeds you planted? Or are your growing spiritual transplants? Are you observant enough to notice and pull worrisome spiritual weeds? Are you in spiritual drought … waiting and hoping for rain? Is your garden open to new possibilities – new plant varieties, techniques or relationships? Do you need help developing a more productive spiritual green thumb?
The seventh edition of Our Season of Faith (OSOF), which opens Sunday, September 23, will turn each of us inward to our spiritual gardens and ask all those questions. And more.
During OSOF's five weeks, we will examine this year's theme, Sprout!, by planting three “thought” seeds: How to sprout our personal faith How to sprout our church on the inside How to sprout our church on the outside in the community.
Then, we will watch our gardens, watered with conversation, meditation, study and prayer, to see what the seeds produce. Every thriving garden needs a gifted planter. And OSOF is fortunate to enjoy the services of a great one. Be sure to meet and greet The Planter on Kickoff Sunday.
In many ways, OSOF will have a different look this year. Materials will be delivered electronically for the first time, available at your computer in-box and on the church website. For those who depend on paper and ink, the USPS will handle delivery. Same stuff. Different carriers. Right on time.
The traditional two-week devotional book will be replaced by a three-week personal study – one week for each of the three seeds – complete with daily insightful questions and thoughtful readings. And for three Sprouting Sundays – one for each seed – we will gather at 9 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall before worship at 10 a.m. in the sanctuary to consider what grew in our spiritual gardens during the week.
In the end, when the crops are grown and harvested, we will have clearer understandings about how each of us can sprout spiritually and how our church can sprout both inside and out. How well our gardens grow will depend entirely on us – what kind of spiritual farmers we are – how willing we are to water and weed for the entire five-week sprouting season.
On Harvest Sunday, October 28, when we gather to present our annual giving commitments for 2019, the congregation will share a lunch meal of items prepared from produce (peas, corn, okra, peppers, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, eggplants and pie pumpkins) grown in the quarter-acre Our Season of Faith garden at the Glover Farm in Elm City. (By the way, John Glover is OSOF's Secretary of Agriculture.)