Sunday Services at 10 a.m.
Welcome to Rye Congregational Church
… And at His appointed season He Brought His Word to light…
I felt a change in the air a few days ago, a harbinger of Autumn — a favorite time of year for many, and a close second for me (I have always loved winter best!).
With the change, a fresh crop of memories of a year ago, when I was just introducing myself to you as your new pastor and learning your names, arises. I recall being new to you and how you were all trying to figure me out, and I guess I was doing the same. I had a lot to learn, and probably still do, but it has been an enjoyable experience for me and the fulfillment of a dream kept close to my heart for decades: to return to New Hampshire and serve as a pastor in a place that I will always call home.
They say that reality never lives up to our highest dreams, but in this case the normal rules seem to have been broken and reality has exceeded the height of all my dreams. All of you are a big part of this and for that I wish to thank you. I thank you for your friendship and your devotion to serving God in this special place.
With the change of seasons also comes a reflection of how things seemed at first and how they seem now. So new and somewhat unfamiliar at first, now more comfortable and familiar — it really feels like home, a feeling that had eluded me for many years and even the thought of home would confuse my mind. Now the familiar landscapes (there’s nothing like New England in the Fall!), the blue skies reflected in all the lakes and ponds, the pine trees everywhere, and the unique blend of accents which I find to be contagious, all come together for me in a way that feels like I’m starting my life all over again, as though the best is yet to come, and it fills me with much joy and peace.
The best thing of all, however, is the sense of sacredness I experience each time I come to Rye Congregational Church. It has something to do with the quintessential historic setting, to be sure, and the peaceful small town environment, but there is more to it than that. I sense the presence of God here and experience the guidance and protection of His Spirit as I seek to serve among you. I think I feel it in worship most of all, but it’s also felt in the day to day encounters and tasks that are part of a pastor’s life. I am very appreciative of the gifts and experiences, both personal and congregational, that contribute to our greater whole and the greater good at RCC at present.
As we enter our second year together, I would like to reinforce my commitment to serve you with all my heart and strength and, in keeping with promises I made before God in your presence at my installation service last year, I will never forget the responsibility I bear and, with God’s help and blessing, I will live up to it as well. For this I ask you to join me in your prayers for our success together as we seek to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ in this place, by loving one another and serving faithfully as witnesses of His light and truth throughout our community.
In His Love and Grace,
The Preacher in the Rye