We are coming back together – not fully, not in the exact same way, not quickly – but life in the church is returning to some sort of ‘normal’.  The president has declared July 4th – which happens to be a Sunday this year – a true celebration of Independence for our nation, especially as we celebrate our FREEDOM from disease that has had a hold of us for such a long time!  The first words in Summit’s Mission Statement is: COME HOME!  So, we are coming home to our families, to our workplaces, to our schools and TO OUR CHURCH HOME!  No masks required (but it’s okay to wear one too!) – social distancing behind us – able to hold bulletins, hymnals and Bibles – video services still reaching out to folks all over the place – Vacation Bible School and the Youth Mission Trip are a go – regular activities resuming after Labor Day!  God truly is GOOD ALL THE TIME!

The words that Peter wrote above remind us of some important things as we come back together!  I think it’s important since we are still all not on the same page about COMING HOME AGAIN!  Here’s what we need to do.  LOVE EACH OTHER DEEPLY!  One of the statements that are thrown around the church family is “We don’t have to like each other – but we do have to LOVE each other!”  In many ways as we come back home, love will cover a multitude of sins!  Love each other – DEEPLY – as we come home.  OPEN YOUR HOMES (THE CHURCH) TO EACH OTHER!  And welcome people back – and new folks in – without complaining!  One of the things that COVID took away from us was Fellowship – and when we resume fellowship with one another, it won’t always be easy – but it will be bringing us back Home!  And finally, EACH OF YOU HAS RECEIVED A GIFT!  Get a hold of the gift that God has given to you as we come back home.  Remember – the purpose of the gift is TO SERVE OTHERS, not self!  And Peter reminds us too that no matter what our gift may be, it includes GRACE!  We are coming home friends!  Love one another!  Be open to each other!  Use gifts of grace as we come home!

July brings much too:  Independence Day with communion, honoring our nation’s freedom, and saying goodbye to Bob and Jane Sutherland; the youth leaving for their mission trip to South Carolina; hearing from our Stephen Ministry folks in worship; getting ready for Vacation Bible School!  August will even bring more our ways.

It’s time to COME HOME!  See you in church!  In Jesus’ Love – Pastor Dan