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Falling for Fall

a blog by Liz Bailey, Co-Lead Dir. of Children's and Family Ministries | 

As I sit down to write this, I have many feelings in my heart. Most of these feelings are familiar and positive because this season is so comforting and nostalgic. But there are also feelings of anxiety and anticipation of change and the unknown. This is part of the nostalgia for me—Fall is a time when I started many new things in life—my move from Sandpoint, ID to Baker, OR when I was 12, off to college to Missoula, MT when I was 18 and then to Vancouver, WA when I was 26. Just starting school is a big adjustment and one I feel as a parent (especially this year with my youngest off to Kindergarten). But newness doesn't equal bad; it is the opposite but … the term "growing pains" exists for a reason. It's the growing part that can be hard and uneasy but necessary to prepare us for the next level.

I am finding a peace that these new beginnings and growing pains will take place in familiar and routine settings. It's nice to have the structure of school, bedtimes, weekly practices or even TV shows. There is security in the schedule and comfort with the season. For who doesn't love autumn? The first feelings of that crisp ribbon in the air, the smells of the foliage drying out and the beauty of its changing colors, and the light of the sun shifting from our Earth's axis tiling back.

In summer, the axis is tipped forward, and we go "all in" with the calendar full—traveling to see people and places, swimming as much as possible and enjoying as many fun local activities one can fit in a week. It's the flip side of Seasonal Affective Disorder that we all can enjoy.

Today, the calendar is still full, and we are still "all in" but the lighting is changing, and our perspective is shifting as well. Things are getting checked off the list—school started, extracurricular activities scheduled with the weekly routine syncing up—yes! Learning what I can control, work on, and prepare for, gives me security like a squirrel gathering nuts.

Going through growing pains and new beginnings allow a reevaluation of self. We get to assess what we have control over, what is no longer serving us, and what our capabilities can be. This is the beauty that comes from an autumn and winter of reflection. We all share this season, its new beginnings, and the reflections that fall can bring!

With that said, I would like to end by sharing part of an article a fellow Messiah Preschool Board member read yesterday. This article is called "Four Prayers for the New School Year" written by Nivine Richie. She wrote these prayers for our children facing new beginnings and the growing pains they can bring, but I think we all could receive these prayers for this season of life. I have altered them to include "us all" instead of "them."

May God Grant Us All Peace
May God Grant Us All Wisdom
May God Grant Us All Endurance
May God Grant Us All Hope Found in Salvation

As we prepare for this season, let's remember to pause and allow for the work of God to shine through us, on us and in our lives. As we prepare our calendars, please remember the activities we have here at Messiah—starting with Kick-Off Sunday on 9/8 and FL!P starting on 9/11! These might sound familiar, but they have grown and are ready for the next level.

Kick-Off Sunday with Progressive BBQ and Ministry Showcase
on 9/8 is a celebration for all! Children will meet in the gym at 9:30a for activities and fun and will join the service for the children's message and communion. Following the service, we are hosting a Progressive BBQ and Ministry Showcase. Everyone is invited to meet and converse with our excellent staff and our wonderful members who are involved in the many ministries, services, and activities we offer at Messiah throughout the week.

FL!P (Faith Life in Progress)
returns on 9/11 but with new growth and gifts! We are so excited to offer a new worship service on Wednesdays to which everyone is invited. It will be intentionally family-friendly and purposely integrate children participating in Wednesday FL!P.

New FL!P Schedule 2019

Three Years Old – First Grade
3:45-4:35p Godly Play® for 3 yrs-1st grade
4:40-5:15p Expressions of God for 3 yrs-1st grade (creative and expressive time)
5:15-5:45p Dinner served, $2.00
6:00-6:30p Family Friendly Worship

Second – Fifth Grades
3:45-4:35p Godly Play® for 2nd-5th grades
4:45-5:30p Chaos for 2nd-5th graders (creative and expressive time)
5:30-5:45p Dinner served, $2.00
6:00-6:30p Family Friendly Worship

Sixth-Eighth Grades
5:00-5:45p Dinner served, $4.00
6:00-7:30p Confirmation beginning with Worship

High School (9th-12th grades)
5:00-5:45p Dinner served, $4.00
6:00-7:30p HS Youth Group beginning with Worship

Adult
10:00-11:15a Pr. Kathy's Book Club (1st Wednesday of the month)
10:00-11:30a No Worries Adult Bible Class: A Survey of the Gospel Matthew w/Pr. Peter & Intern Pastor Taran (starts Sept. 18)
5:00-5:45p Dinner served, $4.00
6:00-6:30p Worship
6:35-7:30p No Worries Adult Bible Class: A Survey of the Gospel Matthew w/Pr. Peter & Intern Pastor Taran (starts Sept. 18)
7:00-8:30p Messiah Worship Choir

I hope you all can feel the excitement that all these new beginnings can bring and the peace that comes with the changing light, the cool temperatures, and the beautiful colors of fall.

No Worries Adult Bible Study: A Survey of the Gosp...
Ministry Showcase: Time for Messiah to Shine