Churches use different names for the first Sunday of their program year, usually around the first of September. Some call it “Homecoming Sunday,” for example, drawing on the practice of schools to have a big celebration that brings back people who have left. But that makes it sound like people have actually left and are now just coming home for a visit. Another title churches use is “Rally Day,” as in rallying to a cause, coming together from different places around a common concern. But that can also suggest that people have scattered, divided, or lost interest, and therefore need to rally. Still others use the expression “Kickoff Sunday,” which implies that rush of energy and focus that comes with the opening play of a football game. But again, that makes it sound like that the game is only starting now!

So: if I were going to pick a name for this coming Sunday at FPCB, I might choose “Acceleration Sunday.” While many people have had some time away, people have certainly not left!  Nor has there been a loss of energy or interest that now needs to be rallied; it has been a very active summer of worship, adult ed classes, mission projects, and children’s camp. And while there are many new and exciting programs and events coming up this fall, we’re not kicking off a new game, but rather shifting into a new and higher gear for the next leg of the race we’ve already been pursuing so faithfully and well!

That’s why I would choose “Acceleration Sunday” as a title for this Sunday here at FPCB. Take a moment and read about the ways in which we are accelerating the mission and ministry of this congregation in the coming weeks, and I think you’ll agree. And whether you got away briefly this summer, have been gone for a long time, or have been here all along, I hope to see you Sunday!

Grace and Peace,