Hold on tight!
As I write this in the wee hours of September 14, I realize I am commencing this day my 36th year of ministry at Chapel Hill, a gift for which I will be eternally grateful. There is a wonderful and frenetic energy to Septembers around here as we launch another program year unhindered by the specter of COVID, thank God! I want to share some of the exciting doings around your church:
- Last week we kicked off our 23rd year of Chapel Hill Preschool. It was my pleasure to welcome a room full of parents and introduce our new Director, J.J. Bland. As I told them, she is a stick of dynamite! Excited, energetic and primed to lead this ministry into its next chapter.
- We have concluded our second “Vision Night” in which we announced the launch of our “For the One” initiative. Learn more about it here. Hundreds of Chapel Hill folks have gathered for icy caloric intake and a preview of our commitment to equipping every single Chapel Hillbilly to pray for, be present to and personally invite just ONE person into our family in the coming year. (If you missed it, here is a video recap of the main points in the presentations.) I know we can do this! Tomorrow when you come to church, you can pick up a prayer guide and bookmark from the wood wall and think about who your ONE person can be.
- Celebrate Recovery launched its 21st year at Chapel Hill, continuing our longstanding commitment to walk with those who are working to triumph over their hurts, habits and hang-ups.
- Our high school and middle school ministries are off to a roaring start, something that will be abundantly clear to you if you happen to show up on a Sunday or Wednesday night. Bring your ear plugs! The place will be rocking!
- Although our Habitat House start has been delayed, we are gearing up to build the Chapel Hill house, our first Habitat project in 10 years! This is just one example of the impact of Beyond These Walls.
- A frenzy of activity has surrounded the resurfacing of our parking lot and the re-roofing of our gym, a tribute to those who work so hard to care for our incredible facility.
That’s just a sample! And the fun will continue this weekend, baptism Sunday. We will continue in our sermon series on Luke. At least 10 people (possibly more) will declare their faith in Jesus and receive the gift of baptism. Twenty-five new members will make their vows. And following the second service, the parking lot will be abuzz with our Fall Family Blast: bouncy house, music, food and games and the rest.
And if THAT’S not enough, our 15th Alpha launches next Wednesday. I’ll be attending with a friend whom I have invited; how about you?
Speaking of Alpha, we are launching our first-ever Youth Alpha for high school students starting Sunday, October 2, at 6:00 pm.
This has also been a season of goodbyes as we ushered into retirement longstanding, faithful employees: Barb Wentlandt, Betsy Hunt and Patti Edge.
How’s THAT for an exciting fall launch? None of this is possible without your ongoing, faithful support. Thank you. And if you haven’t had a chance to review your own giving, now would be a wonderful time to do so. Our giving is mirroring the economic downturn of the last eight months and we really need every person who loves this ministry to do their part, large or small. You can give here.
It is a privilege to serve you, my Sweetheart Church, and I am excited about this new year together. Let’s see what God can do!