Message From the Pastor
Today you are You,
that is truer than true.
There is no one alive
who is Youer than You.
With the words of Dr. Seuss we welcome the summer season, our program year at Payson Park Church coming to a close with the arrival of Youth Sunday. It is on that day we most visibly experience the ways our faith leads us to develop our unique talents, the children in our midst sharing their gifts with joyful enthusiasm. From special musical contributions to the spoken words of scripture and prayer, this day offers delight to us all, God’s loving presence ever so palpable. “Come to me as little children,” Jesus says in the gospels. Yes, it is often the youth who provide the best examples of how to worship with faithful wonder.
And so it is on the ninth of June we open our eyes and hearts in a special way, our programs in God’s Garden a living testament to how we keep the Christian story thriving. “A person’s a person, no matter how small,” Dr. Seuss reminds us, the value of every individual further stressed with his adage, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” With a similar sense of appreciation we approach the close of our “school year” as an opportunity to celebrate the young among us as well as all of those who support our educational efforts. Thank you for helping your children attend our church programs. Thank you for volunteering your time and talents in the classroom. Thank you for contributing financially so that our efforts are sustainable week in and week out. With the devoted leadership of our Christian Education Director, Cindy Lou Benson, we come together to share the stories of Jesus with exuberance, the love of God made real in all that we do. With this great passion we say to the children and one another:
You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So…get on your way!
With love and prayer from The Rev. Dr. Lael Atkinson
The signs of new life surround us: the trees are beginning to bud, bulbs have sprouted and blossomed, the sun shines warmly on our skin. After a long, snowy winter the arrival of spring is something we are grateful for. What a joyous time of year!
In a similar way, we also celebrate the new life here at Payson Park Church. Here in this Easter season our worship themes continue around the miracle of the resurrection as we marvel at the mystery found at the empty tomb. Christ is risen! God offers new life and hope to the world!
It’s by such grace that this community moves forward as our life together deepens through worship and service. From our mission projects like the much loved sandwich making workshop on the 14th to our Earth Day celebrations on the 21st to our strategic planning meetings where we are discussing ways to expand our ministries, there are signs of transformation all around. As A.B. Simpson states, “Easter is New Year’s Day to the soul,” and I am grateful for all the ways we work together as modern disciples to share the good news of God’s undying love and compassion. Thank you for being a part of Payson Park Church. Together with God we give life to this congregation, our second century of worship and service to the wider community now just beginning. May we forever trust that it is for the good of God’s great creation we work, our individual lives transformed in the process. Christ is risen! With Christ we rise!
With love and gratitude,
The Rev. Dr. Lael Atkinson