Between the hype of the Super Bowl, the shrill wackiness of the current political campaign, and the turmoil around the world, it is downright pleasant to be here in Sonoma Valley, gather together on Sunday mornings, and as Jim has profoundly stated a couple of times, accomplish absolutely nothing . . . except the nourishment of the soul, which indeed is an awful lot. When thinking about what to write for this week’s message, I was similarly challenged to come up with a rallying cry that would carry our little, wonderful congregation forward. What exactly could we rally around? The church is consistently full, our pastoral leadership is affirming and supportive, and our music is consistently wonderful again. Weddings and memorial services are conducted smoothly, our outreach and volunteerism are generous, the financial state of the church is sound, and to my knowledge our community is in true harmony. I am grateful.
Perhaps the harshest reality we face amidst this harmony is that as we age, both individually and collectively, we increasingly face the frailties and ultimate mortality for all of us that sooner or later appear on our doorstep. It makes our spiritual journey more poignant, our support for each other more powerful and our need to welcome the next slightly younger generation full of energy and new ideas into our congregation more compelling. It is a common challenge facing many churches today and the Board of Trustees and the Deacons welcome your thoughts about how we can respond to that challenge most effectively.