Strange Season - Good Season

Strange Season - Good Season

February 29, 2024 by Gregg DeMey

It’s been a little weird around here lately. February temperatures have repeatedly soared up into the ‘70s (I love it). There are daffodils and other spring flowers* already boldly erupting from the soil (also love it). I even saw a snapping turtle paddling around the pond at church earlier this week (really love it). And then there’s Leap Day, which I know is necessary to keep our solar calendar in good mathematical order, but whenever I try to do the calculations, it makes my brain hurt.**

On top of all these seasonal oddities, it’s Lent at the same time. I’ve had a hard time squaring my inner longing for silence and solitude with the call of the outdoors and sunny skies. I’m trying to reconcile the two by taking a long, quiet walk over the lunch hour.

There have also been some unusual signs of spiritual life at Elmhurst CRC during these atypical winter months. There have been quite a few baptisms already in 2024 (both infants being sprinkled and young adults being immersed) with many more coming soon in the following months. What a beautiful sign of God’s Spirit at work in our midst!

And for the first time since I’ve been around – still a relative newcomer at only 16 years here – our congregational giving is significantly ahead of both our historical pattern and 2024 targets by a wide margin. Please don’t let that information dissuade you from doing what you’re doing! We’ve always been generous people at Elmhurst CRC, but I have a sense that God is creating an overflow right as some fresh winds begin to blow.

And then there’s Sunday mornings in worship. There have been an increasing number of Spirit-filled, responsive moments lately. I can’t really explain it. It’s definitely not anything that I can point to on paper or in the planning process, but I love it. I’ll take Spirited worship over warmth, sunshine, daffodils and turtles any day! And I have high hopes that once Erin Pacheco, our new Director of Worship, is added to the mix, we’re going to reach new heights of energy and unity in worship.

And finally, there are lots of people at Elmhurst CRC these days. Scores of new members are in the process of making Elmhurst CRC their spiritual home. Sunday morning attendance (in person plus Livestream) has been consistently adding up to pre-pandemic levels and beyond (just last week, more than 900 people, in February!)

I can’t exactly explain the science behind Leap Day. I can’t explain the February heat wave. And I can’t explain the signs of life that are happening at our church. But I’m grateful for it all.

– Pastor Gregg

** Here’s how the math works: Every year that is divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100. These century years are leap years ONLY IF they are exactly divisible by 400.

E.G. 1700, 1800, and 1900 are NOT leap years, but 1600 and 2000 are. Good luck keeping track!

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