Greetings from San Francisco! (Not really, I’m writing this before I leave. But as you read this, I am in San Francisco, on retreat with the Bethany Fellows. I’m assuming the weather is less abrasive than that in Dallas.)
I wanted to take a few paragraphs and explain a few changes, and begin dialogue as necessary. First, you may notice the Echo has changed format in the last couple weeks. We have been working with our web and branding folks to update the website and help create a unified look across everything we do at Midway Hills—from our bulletin (we went from a few pages to a few more pages), to our website (go check our website! midwayhills.org!), to the Echo. We have changed over from designing it as a print publication and putting it online to making it web accessible and printing it out. The vast majority of our mailing list reads the newsletter online, so publishing it to accommodate mobile devices and various web browsers makes sense. We absolutely want those who read it in print, and those who are used to reading it in print, to not feel alienated. We’re in process, and we’re getting there. Your feedback is quite welcome—send me an e-mail if you’d like, please.
Additionally, you may have noticed a change in the order of worship this past Sunday. Instead of going Scripture -> Sermon -> Receiving Gifts and Offerings -> Passing the Peace -> Communion, we’ve re-arranged things to Scripture -> Sermon -> Passing the Peace -> Communion -> Receiving Gifts and Offerings. This shift is because the table is part of proclamation; the sermon has, and probably always will, tie into what we do at the table. And then we respond—in giving and in discipling. If it’s not your bag, I would definitely like to know; but I’d also like to encourage you to try it for a few weeks, and see what happens. We can’t settle into the status quo, and we can’t also throw all the spaghetti on the wall hoping something will stick. (Am I mixing metaphors again?)
I want to use my last paragraph to say this: I love my job, and I am thankful for all of you. We’re entering a new season of rejecting scarcity and embracing abundance, and I am thankful for our constant bumper crops—hope, joy and a willingness to go forward to where God is calling us in the here and now. I look forward to returning to Dallas recharged and renewed, and ready for the Reign of God as we’ll see it through the end of 2014.
So thanks, Midway Hills, and be well while I’m in California. If you need anything in the interim, please call the church office at (214) 352-4841 and speak to David or leave a message; I will be back on Friday and again, all will be well. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.