I love Labor Day. I love all holidays, but since Eloise and I decided to get married on September 2, (34 years ago now!) I REALLY love this holiday. Labor Day was instituted as a national holiday by Congress in 1894. It honors working persons by giving them a day off. Now I try to tell Eloise how much I love her (still!) and try to find ways to relax and not think about all the things I still have to do in a short workweek.
Growing up at the Jersey shore, Labor Day always made me happy to think that all the city people were leaving and there would be less traffic and more peace on the beaches. When I became a teenager, I was even more glad because our Southern New Jersey Annual Conference held its annual MYF weekend at Ocean City, NJ (next town south of Atlantic City) where over 2,000 MYF members met for inspiration, fun and fellowship every year on the weekend AFTER Labor Day. It was as close to Heaven as a Methodist kid could imagine! I am thankful for those 3 volunteer sponsors who hauled 20-30 kids from our church down there every year. I hope our Youth Group has made as many wonderful memories of their summer trips to the ‘Night Vision’ concerts as I have of those Ocean City MYF Weekends.
Once Labor Day is over, we begin the new school year with all of its events: football games, weekly Wednesday Kids and Youth Group meetings for some of us and the Ministry Placement process and getting things organized for our October 23 Church/Charge Conference. Before long, it will be time for our church’s Thanksgiving Potluck and Consecration Sunday on November 20 this year. As United Methodist Christians, these are two of the most important days of our year- when we show our District Superintendent, James Large, how we are doing and what we are planning for the future at the Church Conference on October 23. The second date, November 20, is when we show God how thankful we are for all He has blessed us with and estimate how much of those financial blessings we are going to share with God through Aztec United Methodist Church during the year ahead. Those estimates are what the church leadership will use to plan our budget for 2017. So make sure you get those dates on your calendar now. They may become as important to you as your wedding anniversary and last blast of summer retreat!
Grace and Peace,