From the Pulpit: Why we should think of Sept. 1 as the start of the church year

Pastor Tony Toth, Faith United Presbyterian Church
We all know when the calendar year begins – Jan. 1, right? But for those who do the work of the church, pastors and staff and volunteers, summer is the fallow season. Attendance drops (some-times a lot!), education and youth groups take a break. Like a gardener going through a seed catalog, planning for planting season, we go through curriculum and calendars, planning classes and events, sermon series and celebrations (Christmas and Easter). In September, we celebrate the coming back of our families, and settle in to do this year’s planting, nurturing, and weeding. It all comes to harvest at the end of April or May, and we heave a sigh of relief at another year done.
I wonder if we actively treated August as our field prep, September as our planting season, and springtime as our harvest, would our attitude toward the year change? Would we be more excited to plan and welcome folks back so that we can once again plant and nurture God’s word in their hearts and minds? Would we look at the kids (and the adults) as growing things to be taken tender care of, and the end of the year as a joyful harvest? And then, perhaps, we might stop to thank God for the work He has done in our fields, and we would offer a “harvest” to him, perhaps in the last service of Sunday school, offering each class as an offering and asking blessing for the next growing season. 
If we changed the way we look at our “year”, we might be more excited for its beginning and more thankful for its culmination, hoping that the work and people of our family of families would be pleasing to God.


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