August marks the start of the school year for many of our children, youth, and families at PVUMC. If you listen carefully, you can practically hear the nervous energy of students eagerly starting yet another nine months of group projects, homework, and tests. Whether it’s a child entering their first day of kindergarten or a graduate student writing their doctoral thesis, the start of the school year often represents the beginning of something new.
How appropriate, then, that we should focus on going “back to school” this Sunday during worship. If there was one place for us to celebrate the start of a new school year, full of possibilities and hope, it certainly should be the church! After all, isn’t our God one of new beginnings? In the book of Genesis, we are shown a God that begins the process of creation by making something brand new out of the nothingness. In the book of Revelation, we are given a vision of the Creator, sitting on a majestic throne, proclaiming, “Behold, I am making all things new!” Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, the apostle Paul reminds us that we have each been given the opportunity to start anew, casting off our old selves and living as (you guessed it) new creations.
This week, why don’t we all take a few moments to prayerfully remember our wonderful students and teachers as they head back into the classroom (if they haven’t already)? Let’s pray that God might shower them with mercy and grace and an extra portion of (some much needed) patience. Then, this Sunday, let’s all show up as our entire church family blesses each and every one of them. What an incredible thing that would be, to remind our young people that there is an entire community of faith standing behind them as they go back to school.
I look forward to seeing you all there, and joining the youth for brunch in the Fellowship Center following the 9:30 am worship service. Email me for details about the youth kickoff brunch, and invite a friend to join you.
Youth Ministries Director
Paradise Valley United Methodist Church
P.S. We’ll hear from Rev. Susan Brims, the Desert Southwest Conference East District Superintendent, as she preaches on “Let Love Reboot Your Life” as part of our Back-to-School Blessing Sunday, August 20. On August 27, Rev. Bob Stanley joins us for the final Sunday in the Reboot series, “When Troubles Come.”