Of blue-ribbon bunnies and pastors

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The fair is on! On its very first day military personnel and school children get in for free. That tells you that the Fort Bend County Fair is made to create community. The fair is a place for everybody regardless whether you enjoy going on carnival rides or kick back a few cold ones. At the fair you can live your dream of becoming a queen and you can indulge in all kinds of traditional foods for good causes that support the local community.

The fair is also a place that strives on competitions. After all it started out as a livestock stock. You see blue ribbon bunnies right next to prize turkeys. PRCA rodeo competes for attention with the county’s best cookies and cupcakes. There is something in it for everybody. Kids crafts and professional cowboys side by side show the the bread and butter attractions and make the fair a bedrock of the community. Who does not love to show off and win the BBQ Cookoff? The fair is the local community coming together and celebrating their best.

You can look at the church the same way: There are all kinds of groups that offer food and fellowship. There are educational opportunities for all ages. We offer community outreach programs. There is something in it for everybody. And twice a year we can go to our own fair and find out how our sister churches are doing when the Houston Association of the United Church of Christ meets. On October 10th you have the next chance to meet with representatives from 17 local congregations just like ours. And yes, food is important there as well: We start by getting together over a light breakfast, share lunch, celebrate worship and music together.

There is even some judging going on like with the bunnies at the fair. On this meeting’s agenda we have three ecclesiastical councils. An ecclesiastical council is an official meeting of an Association for the purpose of authorizing ministry and acting on questions of authorization. Three pastors are requesting authorization to do ministry on behalf of the United Church of Christ and you as a member of our denomination have the right and responsibility to examine them.

So here is my challenge to all y’all. We can have up to five delegates from St. John’s UCC at the meeting. I need you to be one of them. We have numerous people engaged in various committees but since I have been here we have never had a delegate at the actually meetings. Please accept my challenge and tell me you are going to join me on October 10th, from 8:30-2:15 at Bethel Church UCC, 1107 Shepherd Dr in Houston. Be one of our five delegates and take part in shaping the future of our church’s wider mission!

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