Okay, let’s just say it, it’s hot outside! However, we do live in Oklahoma and it is August after all. Thankfully for those of us who despise the hot weather, the season will change and the fall will be upon us.

I really enjoy the season of fall. The crisp air breezing its way through the color changing trees, the smells of pumpkin everything, the back to school shopping, not to mention the evenings spent at high school football games. It’s my favorite season.

This past week, as 2 of my 3 children are preparing for school, I began to think of all the times in years past that I, as a father, have prepared my children to go back to school. It is a time of happiness and great joy. The “I’m bored” and the “I’m a teenager, I’ll sleep till noon” are coming to an end.

It’s also a time of sadness and melancholy. Each year that comes the kids get bigger, their interests change, the thought of having a junior this year scares the begezzers (yeah, I might have made that word up) out of me. The realization that one will start the middle school season of life, terrifies me. So many things change with each passing season.

I suppose that is what life is, seasons.

This season of life brings on preparing for college and the scariness of 6th grade. It brings tears, laughter, and yes, even hope. Hope for the future and thankfulness for today.

I am reminded of the song Turn! Turn! Turn! Recorded by The Byrds. It was written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950’s and originally released by a folk band in 1961 under a different name. It got it’s fame when the 1960’s band, The Byrds, released it in 1965 with electric guitars.

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

If the lyrics remind you of the Bible, you would be right. Most of the lyrics are direct lines out of Ecclesiastes (3:1-8). Seeger when writing music was often turned down because of his “edge” of writing and lyrics. The music company he was working with was asking for more subtle and calming lyrics, rather than activist and folk music. So, Seeger took to paper, actually a napkin, and in about 15 minutes wrote the song. His producer loved it.

Over the past year+, our Lead Pastor, Rev. Dr. Nagel Monroe, with others, have been working diligently to bring Early Foundations to not just St. Paul’s but to Pottawatomie County. Well, this week, we get to see this program come to life.

Thursday, all of the great things were delivered, put together, and placed in the classrooms in our Children’s Center. Even though teachers are still preparing the rooms for children, the amount of work that was being done by so many people was truly amazing. So, what does one do when something so cool is happening? Take to Facebook Live of course! I wanted to share all the things that were happening. It was an inspiring, God-filled, moment.

This is new life for St. Paul’s. This is a new adventure for Shawnee Public Schools. This is another step for the Early Foundations program and the Oklahoma Autism Center. This is a new avenue for Citizen Potawatomi Nation. All of these are in a new season.

Like our own lives, churches take on life as well. For many years, St. Paul’s was in a very different season than we are currently in. Many are expressing their passionate need for tradition and nostalgia, all the while times have changed, society has changed, the structure of “church” has changed. We are experiencing a time in our local church of new life, new faces, new ministries, and of course, an entire new second floor.

This is a great season to be part of St. Paul’s. This is a wonderful season to experience what newness in God feels like. Like the changing of seasons in our personal lives that happen whether we are ready or not, this is a new season for St. Paul’s.

Like the song, let’s keep “turning”. Let’s keep embracing new life. Let us reach ahead with purpose. Let’s be a part of “this season”.

Song lyrics:

Turn! Turn! Turn! – The Byrds

Songwriter: Peter Seeger