As summer turns into fall, people are looking forward to new things.

Take my son Andrew, who started second grade a few days ago. He had a great summer camp experience, but was so ready to go back to school. His eagerness was driving my wife and me crazy! He talked about meeting his teacher, seeing his classmates, buying school supplies, and more. When I dropped him off at school, he was definitely ready for the change.

The church is also looking forward to new things.

Many Christian educators are working hard at preparing for “rally day” events. Pastors and program staff are restarting existing church programs or creating new ones. Talk of stewardship and church budgets begins to be heard.

Parishioners are returning from summer vacations and seeking the support and comfort of the community of faith as they begin the cycle of work routines, family schedules, and various tasks.

Through all of these things we hope and pray for something new to happen, whether it is increased attendance in worship and educational programs, mission projects, or a renewed emphasis on faith and discipleship.

In my travels as vice moderator, I have seen Presbyterians looking forward to the new things that God is and will be doing.

Whether it is spending time with young adult volunteers who have answered God’s call to mission, or churches that are embarking on service and renewal projects in their communities, or sitting around the table with colleagues at governing body meetings, there is fresh hope that God is calling us in the everyday to experience God’s leading in a new direction to serve people in this day and age.

What are you looking forward to? It is my hope and prayer that you will remember the words of the prophet Isaiah, “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19).