October is always a very active month in the life of North Church, and also in the wider circles of Congregationalism! The Congregational Symposium will be held this month in Marshalltown, Iowa with a theme of “Awakenings.” I am presenting a paper in the “Awakening to New Dreams” section of the program, based on my doctoral thesis and including North Church’s ongoing experience with collaborative discernment that calls upon many voices and leaves room for the Holy Spirit to work. I’ll look forward to sharing with North Church my work, and insights from other presenters who’ll be talking about historical awakenings, spiritual movements, and our own tradition’s history of revival and renewal.
The Michigan Conference of Congregational Christian Churches will meet October 19-20 in Jackson, MI. The keynote speakers for the meeting will be Arno Michaelis and Pardeep Singh Kaleka, authors of The Gift of Our Wounds: A Sikh and a Former White Supremacist Find Forgiveness After Hate. They will discuss how a former skinhead and a Sikh could forge bonds of communication, cooperation, and friendship following the bombing of a Sikh house of worship in Oak Creek, WI (where our NACCC offices are located) in 2012. Our statewide gathering will then reflect on how each of our congregations can forge connections across differences in our own communities. Again there will be so much for our delegate, Karen Sirovy, and myself to share!
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, in October we’ll conclude our Missions Month, go to Crossroads, and begin our 2018 Stewardship program. The theme, “Sharing our Stories” goes hand in hand with our annual theme of passing on God’s love, and members of North Church will be inviting reflection on the ways we make a difference in our world, and how our contributions of money, time, talent, and spiritual commitment support that work.
All this, as well as weekly worship, meetings, adorable children in Halloween costumes, ministries of many kinds, and so much more! Take a look through the newsletter and choose the places you can join in!