A word of encouragement for this busy time of year

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Can you believe we’re over halfway through October? At this writing, we’re still in short sleeves and enjoying summer-like temperatures. No jacket weather yet.

But football is happening, pumpkins are for sale, and the World Series is right around the corner, so it must be Fall.

And what about that big, bright moon appearing on several nights week before last? It surely did light up the night. It’s called the harvest moon because before tractors had lights, farmers could continue to work their fields and bring in their harvest even after sundown. They worked into the night under the light of the full moon.

This October harvest moon is a semi-rare occurrence. The closest full moon to the autumn equinox is labeled the harvest moon. The moment the sun’s rays shine directly over the equator is called the equinox. This happens twice a year, once in the spring around March 19-21, and once in the Fall, normally September 21-22.

This year, October fifth’s full moon was 13 days closer to the equinox than September’s full moon. The last time the harvest moon happened in October was 2009 and the next time will be 2020. (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/10/when-is-harvest-moon-october-space-science/).

So we breezed through a scientific rarity and didn’t even realize it.

And, now, we’re breezing into the holidays. In church life, for many congregations, October means a Fall Festival or carnival of some sort.

After a few years off, we’re bringing ours back on Sunday, October 29, and it’s bigger and better. Our Fall Family Festival will feature free food and games, moonwalks and bouncy houses, trunk-or-treat, a petting zoo, pony rides, a cake walk, a hay

Cost is free. Time is 5-7 p.m. Some parking is available on our site, or you can park across the street at Fayette Bible Church.

Once Fall Family Festival is complete, then comes a season of worship and praise. Our choirs are already preparing for Christmas, but we don’t overlook Thanksgiving.

Along with our regular schedule on Sunday mornings, we’ve designated Sunday nights November 5-December 24 as “A Season of Worship” and will have the following emphases:

November 5          Evening worship 6 p.m.

November 12        Evening worship 6 p.m.

November 19        Special Thanksgiving Service 6 p.m.

November 26        “Hanging of the Greens” service 6 p.m.

December 3           “Stars Go Dim” in concert 6 p.m.

December 10         “The Story of Christmas” 10:55 a.m. and 6 p.m.

December 17         An MRBC Family Christmas 6 p.m.

December 24         Christmas Eve Candlelight service 6 p.m.

On Sunday mornings in December, we’ll observe the Season of Advent and prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of Christ. I love preaching on Christmas themes, singing the Christmas carols, and leading our folks to focus on the Christ of Christmas.

In the meantime, we begin another season of Upward Basketball. You can sign-up on our website at www.mcdonoughroad.org.

So, as your pace picks up and the march towards Christmas turns into the annual frenzy, I encourage you to build weekly worship into your schedule.

Worshipping with your church family every week is a healthy habit that brings great spiritual benefits.

Worship reenergizes our life and recharges our spiritual batteries. Worship helps keep our focus on what and Whom the season is all about.

Worship on God’s Day gives us a break from the hectic pace of the rest of the week.

Your church needs you and you need them. Being present is important, but do more than just show up.

Step up and get involved in serving and participating.

And remember the words of the Psalmist: “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.”

(Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Georgia. Located near McCurry Park, the address is 352 McDonough Road. Join them for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. this Sunday. Visit them online at www.mcdonoughroad.org and like them on Facebook).