From the Pastor

From the Pastor: Back to School

From the PastorproSummer is over. School is starting. Sunday, August 6 is our Kick-Off Sunday!

I can still tell you my kindergarten teacher’s name. Ms. Lantz. I walked into her classroom at Claymont Elementary School in St. Louis as an out of control little five-year old boy. She was a lady who loved me, even when I was less than lovable. She worked patiently with me to learn my letters and numbers. She taught me how to tie my shoe and to remember my home address. She said things like, “Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hurt people. Say you are sorry.”

I can still tell you the name of many of my Sunday School teachers. Mr. Lackey. Mr. Hopper. Ms. Royer. Ms. Farley.  These men and woman inspired me and taught me about God’s love and grace.  When I did wrong, they helped me understand God would make things right.  They helped me to memorize scripture verses and learn the difference between good and evil. I asked them LOTS of questions. They didn’t always know the answers, but they never made me feel guilty for asking. Over and over, they told me, “God loves you and has a special plan for you.”

People may finish and graduate from high school and college, but we should never stop learning.  Spiritually speaking, God has called us to be “disciples” which is an ongoing process of growing and stretching our minds as we seek and understand God’s truth.

At Smoke Rise, we believe that making disciples is the business of the church.  We are called to do more than merely attend and observe, more than being present. We are meant to participate. We are encouraged to engage in study, to ask questions, and to be a part of a community of believers who follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

Summer is over. And, perhaps, this August all of us should go back to school. Some may have been out of Sunday School for a few months or a few years. Why not visit a class this Fall? Others may be in a class, but not attend regularly.  You may not think it matters if you attend or not. But, it matters. The community is stronger when everyone is contributing. Your presence makes the experience richer for everyone. Why not renew your commitment? Adults, youth, and children need to feed and to be fed spiritual. So come…Sunday mornings for Sunday School, Wednesday nights for Journeys.

At Smoke Rise, you will find what I found so long ago in Ms. Lantz’s classroom. You will find people who are patient and kind, loving and caring. In short, you will find community in the very best sense of the word.

I want you to know, “God loves you and has a special plan for you.”

School is starting. See you in class!

Pastor Chris

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