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A day in the life…

Lenape Valley was hopping this weekend… It all began on Friday night when our GrandFamilies gathered to enjoy a meal and share the challenge and joy of raising grandchildren. I am thankful for Beth Jester’s vision and leadership that creates a safe-haven for these families.

When I arrived at the church mid-morning on Saturday, the New Britain Car Show was already in full swing. Classic and vintage cars lined our parking lot, our field and even our front lawn. For a car enthusiast, this was a little taste of heaven on earth. For the rest of those gathered, the day offered a simple moment of community, friends talking while eating hot dogs served by our Adult Mission Team. By mid-afternoon, trophies were awarded using criteria beyond my expertise, so I dare not even attempt to explain. But the Pastor’s Choice award was simple… a sentimental selection… a light blue, ’69 Ford Mustang that reminded me of the car my father bought when I was a little girl. I remember our family driving from Florida to California in that car when my father was transferred to the Naval Hospital in Oakland. Imagine three children in the back of a Mustang for a cross-country trip… (yes, I had the blessing of sitting on the hump.) What a joy to open our church grounds to the community for such a wonderful day!

By 4:00pm the Car Show was gone, and the Genesis team had arrived to set up for the Lock-In Saturday night. [Genesis is a group of 14 youth who are doing a deep dive into the Christian faith this year.] If you have never experienced a Lock-In, it is just that- we lock the youth in the church for an overnight of fun and fellowship. From ‘loaded tots’ for dinner individually loaded by each youth, to Bible Baseball that became rather competitive as youth flipped through their Bibles to find verses, to a game of hide-and-seek played outside in the dark, to ice cream sundaes and giant kick-ball and prayer circles that ended each time with an Amen and a loud clap- the action was non-stop all evening. The plan and hope of the leaders was that lights-out would happen at midnight. What a foolish pastor you have… to think that sugared-up youth would stop on cue and go to sleep because it was written on the schedule! Quiet conversations and even a few shenanigans happened well after the lights went out. What a joy to see youth from 4 school districts become friends and companions on a journey of faith!

The sun came up an hour later on Sunday, compliments not to the Creator of the universe but to daylight savings time- the extra hour a blessing to exhausted Genesis leaders. By 7:00am the church was already buzzing with sleepy youth and their Genesis breakfast crew, musicians preparing for worship, and the Health Fair team setting up for after worship. By 9:00am the community of faith was gathered for our All-Saints Day worship. Every year, I am moved to tears as I watch our All-Saints families place a candle on the communion table for their loved one who died this year… a name read, a bell rung, a life celebrated.
For all the saints who from their labors rest
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed
Thy name O Jesus, be forever blest. Alleluia!

 O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine.
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine. Alleluia!
Imagine a beautiful chorus of the ‘communion of saints’- those on earth and those welcomed home into the presence of the Savior- praising God together- Alleluia! From praise… to prayer… to the Word… to the Table- what joy to experience God’s grace in worship with God’s people!

After worship, God’s people crossed the lobby to grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the resources of the Health Fair- blood pressure screenings, CPR training, conversations with a pharmacist, mental health resources, information about healthcare choices, and a Teddy Bear clinic for the kids. Many thanks to Greg Malat and his team for their hard work in creating such a robust experience for our people. During the Health Fair, Bob Wherry’s Old Testament class met in the Parlor, digging deep into the book of Genesis. From the flurry of activity in Fellowship Hall, to the conversations enjoyed in the lobby, to the team of Bible explorers found in the Parlor, there was joy in the house of the Lord!

By noon the house was quiet, but the day was not over. Every Sunday evening a group gathers- family members of those who struggle with addiction. The resources offered and the friendship shared become a life-line for families that have been devastated by addiction. What a privilege to offer a safe-haven for these families!

Phew! What a packed weekend! You might think that this past weekend was an anomaly, but such a full schedule at our church is the norm. Today, Tuesday, our pre-school little ones will begin to arrive at 7:00am. Their sweet voices will fill our halls until 6:00pm tonight. Today, Fellowship Hall will be the site of our friends and neighbors coming to honor their right and responsibility to vote. Today, before the polls close, Genesis will arrive for their weekly gathering, and the Bucks County Choral Society will fill the sanctuary with song. Often on Tuesday nights, church committees and Bible studies gather in various rooms. From sunrise until well past sunset, the halls of Lenape Valley host God’s people bringing life and hope to our community. Many thanks to a generous faith community that makes that gift possible!

We are called to be the mission of Jesus Christ to the world God so loves!
With you on the mission,
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