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What's Going On? As certain as Marvin Gaye's 1971 hit is forever stuck in my head, I am likewise certain of the seriousness of the question when it is asked and answered in the context of the congregation. We want to make the church a place where the question, "What's Goin' On?" is more than a greeting; rather, a serious point of inquiry into our spiritual lives.  I have become reacquainted with What's really goin' on?  as I return to my work and renew my focus as listening pastor, teacher, sometimes preacher, and sometimes activist. Asking, answering, and listening with seriousness and presence makes belonging to a congregation meaningful, authentic, and of consequence. So, I ask you, “What’s going on?”


Quietly, a small Great Expectations team is monitoring and working through the short list of parking lot issues in anticipation of releasing soon our contractor from our huge project. Despite delays, I know you want to us to be thorough and not make final payments until our team is satisfied. By late fall and winter, we plan to execute a landscaping plan for areas reserved for shrubbery and trees in our parking lot. (Phase Two--Sanctuary Renovation, is our next venture.)  The congregation may not have heard that the lead electrician on our project, Johnny Piediscalzo, died suddenly in February from a heart attack at the age of 41. His brother, A. J. Garnica, quite capably, is finishing up the last of the electrical work. No two persons on planet earth became so acquainted with our church electrical system --an interdependent network of circuits, junction boxes, switches, and updated lighting, including new security lighting in the courtyard.


Thanks, church members who are pitching in on building maintenance and spruce up/clean-up projects. Our Office Administrator, Allison Hall, is coordinating much of this work. When she comes calling, if you are able, we hope you will consider helping when and where you can. A new coat of paint and some welcoming furniture in the former RE Office awaits our new Director of Family Ministry, Kathy Smith. Welcome, Kathy.


Quoted in my sermon on July 30:  Seven years ago before he became executive editor at Random House, Jon Meacham said, ". . . inherently more dramatic and exciting, conflict is more interesting than cooperation.  Struggle is more exhilarating than the substantive working out of differences. We are living in an age of bumper-car politics in which voters and office seekers and provocateurs live for the next collision. And the game is all." Chaos is thrilling, but it is not the best strategy for managing a business, a church, family life, or the body politic.