Change is Afoot

Can you feel it? Fall is in the air! Maybe I’m just wishful thinking, but I can feel the cooler air when the sun sets. I have started sitting on my back porch for a while each night. We even open windows while we are getting ready for school in the mornings. I’m sure if there were a tree around with leaves, it would have just one red leaf on it. If we were in Flagstaff, that one tree on that road to church would be flaming red, a sure sign of fall! Change is in the air.

Here at St. Mark’s, we have some new changes coming as well. As we kick off the fall and the Stewardship Campaign, as we celebrate World Communion Sunday on Oct. 3, we will change our worship time and opportunities. As you see below, we will offer worship at 8:30 a.m. and three options at 10 a.m. This streamlined approach to our schedule will allow us to be together as a community in new ways and will prepare us to move to livestreamed worship (instead of pre-recorded) in the new year. It reduces strain on volunteers and offers opportunities for spiritual formation for all ages. It’s exciting news.

Other changes are coming, too. In our 10 a.m. worship this week, we will worship in the style of The Gathering, with our praise team leading us. Our bulletin continues to be tweaked and changed to find a style that reduces paper waste and yet gives relevant information. Our pastors and choir will begin robing again. We will move the choral pieces from time to time to fit the flow of worship. We might even ask you to participate in an unusual way. (No, I don’t have anything in mind, but it can happen!)

By now, you might be tired of change. They say change is the only constant in life, and we have had our share of changes during this last year. When will it be over?!? When will things stop changing?!? If you are someone who embraces change, then I invite you to offer words of reassurance to those beside you who are feeling disoriented! If you are feeling disoriented, I invite you to sit with that feeling and question its origins. When change happens that is out of our control, it can feel jarring. Change for the sake of change is not good. Sometimes, though, change can bring good things. I pray that is what we experience as we move through these next months. Embrace a new season. Embrace what is constant: We are a loving church, seeking to change the world through Christ by caring for all people. That hasn’t changed. The love of our God hasn’t changed. The new life offered in Christ hasn’t changed.

Maybe some of the other stuff can be transformed so the Holy Spirit might move us in a new way.

See you soon.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Lynn

Join us for worship at our new times beginning Oct. 3:

  • 8:30 a.m. Traditional service with choirs in Sanctuary and child care in Rm 15
  • 10 a.m. The Gathering praise service with Praise Team in Fellowship Hall
  • 10 a.m. Traditional service with choirs in Sanctuary
  • 10 a.m. Youth and children’s Sunday School and child care
  • 10 a.m. Pre-recorded worship premieres on YouTube and Website

Three ways to access our pre-recorded service:

  • From the main menu on our website click “Worship.”
  • Go to YouTube and search for UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley or use this link.
  • The YouTube link will also be shared on Facebook St. Mark’s UMC Tucson or use this link.

For the rest of this month, the service goes live at 9:45 a.m.