My Dear Sisters and Brothers,
We unbelievably find ourselves in October. Can that be true? Is it really autumn so soon?
In years gone by, I mean, many years gone by, I would have absolutely no doubt if it was fall or not. In West Virginia fall was accompanied by a glorious, mystical, almost magical drenching of lively colors everywhere one looked. As if on order, as soon as school began around Labor Day, the night temperatures began to cool down from the scorching Dog Days of Summer and we enjoyed the crisp clear nights and cooler days. For me as a youngster, football practice was another clear sign that fall was upon us.
Of course, it is a bit different here in Florida. I mean the football is the same but school starts much earlier in August when there is not a sign that cooler temperatures may be on the horizon. In DeLand we learned that the sound of falling acorns, the regular need to dodge falling acorns, the distinctive crunch of said acorns under one’s feet, the echoing roar of multiplying motorcycles due to our proximity to Daytona and a few leaves falling from the trees, confirmed the transition from summer to fall.
Now, we are still rather new here but I can say that I haven’t really noticed much cooler temperatures yet, although there has been a little break since Irma and the early morning walks are a bit more comfortable. I haven’t heard or felt any falling acorns hitting my cranium or any being crunched under my feet and can’t tell yet if there are multiplying motorcycles down this way either. And frankly, it has been more than 29 years since I experienced the glorious transformation of the leaves yet I am quite sure I haven’t seen any leaves bursting forth in color nor have I noticed any falling from the trees thus “the fall of the leaf” or how we use the word fall to describe this season anyway (according to Geoff Pope).
However, I can announce it here that fall is here! Fall is here because I know we are now in October but even more so because I helped dozens and dozens of volunteers unload thousands of pumpkins this past Wednesday. Propagating pumpkin patches are a clear sign for those of us who live in south Florida that we have entered fall. For us here at First UMC we know that this clear sign of fall offers us an incredible opportunity to bless our neighborhood by the way we welcome people onto our church’s property, greet them, treat them as honored guests and sell them beautiful pumpkins to help them celebrate fall and its accouterments.
Daily pumpkin sales and our Fall Festival on October 21st afford us incredible opportunities to get out there and rub elbows with folks who more and more shy away from the church with a passion. Yet, for the next several weeks they are drawn here. I urge us all to make the most of this season to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with love, grace, hospitality and servant hood. I know there are still a lot of open slots on the pumpkin schedule so touch base with Pam soon. Who knows? You just may impact someone’s life forever in selling them a pumpkin that may last a month or so.
May GOD richly bless you as you richly bless all around you by living, loving and leading like Jesus,