I want to extend a special invitation to our students and teachers to come with their backpacks this Sunday for our annual Blessing of the Backpacks.  For many of us, back to school signals a bigger beginning than January 1 does.  We want you to know that we care about you and what happens to you at school, and we want you to know that God is with you wherever you go.  I hope you'll be here for this special time in worship.

I also want to share the good news that we've hired an Interim Director of Music and Organist.  You'll read more about Jeffrey Carter in this email, but we want you to know that Jeffrey comes with a depth of experience and eagerness to be with us.  Jeff is currently the Chair of the Department of Music at Webster University and wears many other hats, too.  His work will begin on August 19 with choir rehearsal and his first Sunday is August 23.  If you've ever thought about joining the choir, now is a good time to start with Jeff.

This Sunday I'll continue my sermon series "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism" with the topic "Will the real Jesus please stand up?"  We'll take a look at how the different gospel writers portray Jesus and what this means for us as Christians as we try to follow Jesus.

I hope to see all of you Sunday.