Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come…Song of Solomon 2:12 (NIV)
Continuing our 2021 theme of Transformation, in this summer issue of MennoExpressions we explore changes happening all around us. Bees buzz on tall echinacea and purple petunias; plump red tomatoes, green beans and sweet corn overflow their baskets in market booths; fireflies light up evenings spent outdoors. We celebrate gathering with family and friends, perhaps finally meeting “pandemic babies” or reuniting after long months apart. Vacation travel has reappeared on calendars.
While vaccinations and masks have allowed FMC to meet, and even sing together again, we are still acclimating to different ways of gathering safely. Saying good-bye to Bob and Mag Richer Smith as they completed their encouraging interim ministry was difficult. Welcoming Frances Ringenberg reassures us of continued blessings, as she steps into interim leadership with the FMC team.
Brian Bither, pastor at Shalom Mennonite Church, our sister congregation in Indianapolis, shares how they found new ways to stay connected and care for their members. They also note changes the church has completed to enhance their building.
While hoping to move on from many pandemic changes, taking time to explore ways that adjustments enhanced our lives can encourage all of us.
Creative hobbies have been a redeeming source of joy for many—whether in everyday areas like cooking, gardening, and caring for trees, or artistic endeavors like the drawings and quilts shared in this issue.
And what could be more transforming than stepping back from a busy, rewarding career, ready to explore new opportunities with fewer time constraints.
Wherever you find yourself in the continuum of life experiences, let’s seek to share, support and cherish the ways we can enrich others as the seasons shift around us and we anticipate the approaching exuberance of autumn colors– just down the road and around the corner.
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.Psalm 96:12 (NIV)
About the author
Summer highlights have included a memorable family week with our children and grandchildren, as well as a lovely weekend gathering with my siblings and families. Eating meals outside on the porch or patio are favorite times for me, and I don’t even mind weeding and mulching, as that enhances all the flowers!