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 So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

I was standing in line recently and chit-chatting with a lady as we waited for our orders to be filled. In the course of the conversation, it came out that I pastor a church. The lady said, “Oh, you’re getting into that busy holiday season soon—Thanksgiving and Advent and Christmas and all,” to which I replied, “I can hardly even think of that until we get through October!”

October is typically a busy month in United Methodist churches, and Mt. Hermon is no exception. The building campaign is in full swing with all its meetings and mailings, preparations for charge conference are underway as we select our slate of leaders for the coming year, and the Harvest Festival looms large with all the crafting and cooking and coordinating and cooperating that it entails.

As we go forward with all this upcoming activity, it is good to take a moment to consider the opportunities it presents for bearing witness in the community to the Christ-like life. In her book “The Spiritual Life, Evelyn Underhill writes, “St. John of the Cross says that every quality or virtue which [the] Spirit produces in our souls has three distinguishing characters…Tranquility, Gentleness, Strength. All our action…must be peaceful, gentle, and strong.” These are the signs of a soul that relies deeply and steadily on the Spirit. In contrast, she writes that the signs of a “self-made and self-acting” soul are “fussiness and feverishness, anxiety, intensity, intolerance, instability, pessimism and wobble, and every kind of hurry and worry...”

For me, it is all too easy to get fussy and feverish when I get too busy and too wrapped up in activities. The things I love about Mt. Hermon are the way you all work together easily and joyfully and the way you just handle whatever comes along without a lot of drama. Your actions are peaceful, gentle, and strong—a sign of souls that rely deeply and steadily on the Spirit.

No matter how busy the building campaign gets or how hot it gets in the kitchen making those chicken pies, I know that is what folks will see. I trust and pray that through all your peaceful, gentle, and strong activity this fall, others will come to know the God who inspires and sustains you.

In Christ,

Pastor Jane