When my family moved to California in the late 1990s, we experienced some culture shock. People frequently asked what kind of accent we had. It seemed that no one liked to get up early in the morning. It was always sunny, and it never rained between April and September. Some of these adjustments were easier than others!
When the fall rains returned in late September, the Golden State would green up again. This autumn re-greening took my Midwestern sensibilities a few years to get used to. It was fall on the calendar, but it felt like spring. Even as some trees were beginning to lose their leaves, others would blossom and flower.
I came to love this “Second Spring” and found it apropos to the other new beginnings that happen in the fall. For example, the start of a new school year and the beginning of a new ministry season at church.
It’s no accident that on the church’s liturgical calendar, green remains the color of choice (see the cross in ECRC’s sanctuary) all the way through the end of November. God’s Kingdom is all about fresh starts, new beginnings, and opportunities to grow.
Perhaps you are ready for a new beginning as well. If you’re a regular part of the ECRC community, I strongly recommend that you peruse the worship folder’s announcements this week (or the online version!). There are many invitations on that table. I’d encourage you to prayerfully look over the worship folder with this question on your heart: “What next, Lord?” See if the Holy Spirit prompts or whispers something to you about the possibility of a spiritual “second spring” experience.
I’ve observed that people who really feel connected and spiritually engaged at Elmhurst CRC have these two things going on:
- They have a place where life is fed into them on a regular basis
- They have a place where they are serving and giving
Part of my own “second spring” experience this year has been saying “yes” to some new musical adventures. I’m spending most evenings in September rehearsing zany songs with high schoolers in preparation for Timothy Christian’s Octoberfest shows. And through the kindness of a parishioner at ECRC, a door opened to do some recording of original songs at Treehouse Records, a top notch recording studio on the west side of Chicago. I’m not sure about the quality of any of these new songs, but I’m confident that that this music making is part of my own answer to that powerful little prayer, “What next, Lord?”
Blessings to you in the possibility of this year’s Second Spring in your own life,