Dear Faith Des Peres Community,

This week we’ll welcome Rev. Miriam Foltz as our guest preacher. Miriam is the founder of UKirk, the Presbyterian campus ministry at Wash U and SLU. Miriam preached a year ago when she was just getting UKIrk started, and I’m excited to have her back and hear what she says about UKirk now that she has a year behind her. Did you know our own Clare Dingus is active in UKirk? We’re also welcoming a second Disciples Gathering teacher this Sunday, Sydney Curtis, who is active in UKirk. Sydney is a sophomore at Wash U and a member of First Presbyterian Church in Durham, NC where she is a deacon and an elder. I hope you’ll come to hear Miriam and support our students at UKirk.

Next Sunday, October 16, I’ll start a 3-week sermon series titled “Faith and Politics: Seeing Purple in a Red and Blue World”. Our country is more polarized than ever when it comes to politics. As people of faith, how can we help? What role does our faith play in politics, and what about the separation of church and state? This sermon series is aimed to help you be a more faithful voter. The faith formation series is aimed to make you a more informed voter, and will include time to discuss what was said in the sermons. Join us, and invite a friend. Our intent is to educate and inform, not sway or influence.

And finally, I want to say a word about the screen in the sanctuary since some of you may be wondering “Is it staying?” The short answer is “no”, you won’t see it for a few weeks. But the longer answer is “yes”. Let me explain . . .

Like everything the Worship Arts Center does, our goal is create a meaningful worship experience. In order to create that experience, we use certain tools. Some of our tools are large, like the pews, windows, communion table, and pedestals. We use lots of tools you never see, like books, bricks, tape, pins, and needles. And other tools you do see, like fabric, scarves, water, candles, and flame. When we develop a theme, we ask, “How can we best interpret this theme?” For the Half Truths series, we wanted you to see what people on the street said about the half truths and that required a screen. When we had the pews in a circle a year ago, we wanted to create a community feel to symbolize our collective journey of faith while symbolizing our individual journeys with the scarves. At Advent, we wanted the congregation to embody the Advent wreath, so we moved the pews accordingly. When the screen helps us to interpret a theme, we will use it. We also use it when we want to incorporate different ways of learning and hearing the Word.

I’m reminded of our vision: to challenge the present to change the future to make Christ known. Everything we do here, from worship to faith formation, to how we serve others to how we spend our resources, should align with our vision. When it does, we’re on the right track. When it doesn’t, it’s time to correct course. As we seek to make Christ known and live into our goals to increase both spiritually and numerically, we will use the necessary tools to do that in every aspect of our church life.