Dearly Beloved,

It finally feels like autumn! We had such fun on Sunday hiking and picnicking at Seven Lakes Park! And we hope you'll join us at Jim Croissant's farm on Saturday for a hay ride, pumpkin decorating, face painting and hot dog and s'more roasting! Sunday, bring produce from your garden, your refrigerator or the grocery store as we celebrate and bless the harvest. This will be donated to Community Kitchen after worship. 

It's been a difficult fall in many ways. As a congregation, we have a number of people among us who are very ill and have lost a beloved member. The world around us seems as uncertain and chaotic as it has been during this pandemic and the back-to-normal attitude all around us belies the reality that COVID cases continue to rise here in Colorado and many of us now know at least one person who has died from this disease.

And still -- the leaves blaze in all their glory. This fall seems more glorious than any I can remember since moving here to Colorado. Our garden overflows with produce (especially tomatoes which burst with the flavor of late summer sun). Our home is marked by laughter -- after all we have a 7-month old and an almost-4 year old. At church, I am inspired by the wisdom, generosity and vulnerability of those sharing their stories as part of our stewardship season. Not to mention the tending of spirits that happens with our children in Sunday school, youth during youth group and all who attend our Tuesday evening Worship Nights.

Even when things are difficult, when uncertainty rests its shadow over us, when grief still holds us individually and collectively -- even then, even now, there is new life. There is abundance. This Sunday, we will hear Joel 2:21-27 and Matthew 6:25-30. The Matthew text is more familiar to us -- reminding us of God's care for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field: "Are you not of more value than the birds? And which of you by being anxious can add one minute more to your life?" We are less familiar with the Joel text which tells of the greening of the earth after a terrible plague of locusts: "You will eat abundantly and be satisfied, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God who has done wonders for you." 

What abundance are you experiencing in your life? What does it look like for you to praise God's name? To share, in gratitude and generosity, the abundance that you experience?

In abundant love,