I'm looking forward to the long weekend, the last long weekend of the summer, for a couple of reasons. I always enjoy an extra day off and relaxing on my deck out back with family and friends. Weather wise, it looks like it's going to work out great this year! Don't get me wrong, I love my work as a pastor, but time with family and friends gives me the energy to be a good pastor, and a little extra time with them at the start of the new church year is always appreciated. It's rather ironic that on Labour Day I try to do as little labour as possible!
The second reason I look forward to this particular long weekend is that it's the start of a new church year, a new beginning again. In September everything looks exciting and fresh, all those involved in our ministries are filled with hope that God is going to do something amazing this year through them and in them. Our mistakes and failures are behind us and have hopefully given us new wisdom for how we move forward with hope.
New beginnings are definitely a gift from God: I'm thinking of times like Professions of Faith, re-affirmations of faith, weddings, the start of a new church and school year, New Year's Day, baptisms, and more are all times to stop, reflect back and look ahead with hope and joy as we step out fresh and new in heart and mind.
These are times for me when my faith gets a boost as I remember again that this is all in God's hands, I'm here for the ride and to do my part the best I can with all the experience and wisdom that comes from the past and can be applied now to the year ahead. My prayer is that this is also a time of hope, renewed faith, and trust for all of you as our churches and ministries get revved up for a new beginning again!