Grace Abounds!
Sermon writing and worship preparations are a holy art. I prayerfully engage the living word with imagination, curiosity, and an openness for the Spirit to dance!
My hope as your pastor through “Neeley’s Notions” is to offer stories and perspectives to ignite your own imagination, curiosity, and openness to the Spirit. - this will be a periodical email offering as the Spirit leads!
Take a deep breath.
Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Take a deep breath.
Breathe in the gift of releasing all that weighs you down. 
Take a deep breath.
Breathe out all the demands on your time today. 
Take a deep breath.
Breathe in the good news of Jesus’ invitation: “Come to me.”
Take a deep breath.
Breathe out all the weight you are carrying on your shoulders. 
This week we are invited to Come and Rest as we gather as a church family. 
Rest is: 
  • Stillness. 
  • A Holy Pause.
  • Sabbath.
  • Recognizing the Divine.
  • Holy Mystery.
  • An Afternoon Nap. 
  • Remember.
  • Time Set Apart.
  • Intentional. 
If I am honest with myself, I recognize my need to rest more. I tend to shrug off the opportunity to pause and appreciate the stillness of the moment.
Living in a culture that expects us to produce more, produce longer, produce at all expense – we all tend to neglect the need for rest.
When I do take time for rest whether it be a Sunday afternoon nap holding our daughter, MaryRentz, or resting in the presence of God’s arms on a walk outside when I feel overwhelmed, I feel better. I notice I have more energy, clarity, and patience! I believe God created us with the invitation to rest. We honor God’s wonderful and beautiful creation of our bodies when we take time to rest and care for ourselves. 
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work God had been doing; so on the seventh day God rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all the work of creating that was done.
“God is artisan and artist, tailor and caregiver, farmer and potter and teacher. This God, this diligent and careful worker, invites us to balance our own days on a rhythm of exertion and rest.”
Our bodies and minds need rest
Sleep Facts:
Why Sabbath is important
Rest, Solitude, Silence
When you hear the word Sabbath what comes to mind? 
Do you hear Sabbath as an invitation, a gift to rest? 
How do you currently experience Sabbath?
I invite you to answer these questions by replying to this email. Please share what you think with me! I want to know.
I have found For Sabbath Sake: Embracing Your Need for Rest, Worship, and Community by J. Dana Trent to be a great read and a wonderful resource to understand our Sabbath roots. Here are some excerpts that I found particularly resonant.
“Creator God, you have given me the weekly gift of sabbath. Help me to step out of this chaotic world and into sacred space and time. May I keep my intention of rest, worship, and community – seeking always to listen for your voice and to number my days rightly. Amen” 
Sabbath is:
Rest
Take a nap. Silence your phone. Write God a letter of gratitude. 5 minutes of solitude. Weaving, knitting, drawing. Silence in nature. A day in your pajamas. Walking a labyrinth. 
Worship
Worship experience once a week. Personal devotional. Singing hymns. Volunteering with Children’s ministry. Try a different form of prayer (lectio divina, meditation, praying in color).
This Sunday we will share in experiencing the Prayers of the People through using a Finger Labyrinth.
You can click the image above to learn more about praying with a Finger Labyrinth.
Community 
Share a meal. Meet someone new. Family Game night. Community gardening. Walking with a friend. Volunteering in the community. Being mindful of privilege and limiting shopping by donating. 
Sabbath Rest: Resting in God
St. Augustine is attributed with saying, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” All are invited to hear the invitation to Come and Rest this Sunday. I am looking forward to exploring Sabbath Rest with you. We will celebrate Sabbath as One Body! 
If you are looking to inquire more about Sabbath, I invite you to consider joining Presbyterian Women’s upcoming yearlong study of Celebrating Sabbath: Accepting God’s Gift of Rest and Delight.
Presbyterian Women will have a kick-off dinner on September 13th at 5:00pm in the Fellowship Hall and on Zoom! Then PW Circles will meet on the first Tuesday of the month for the remainder of the study.
Contact Dana Hall at (770)787-0234 or Julie MacKenzie at (404)933-2560 to learn more about getting involved with Presbyterian Women!
Another opportunity to experience sabbath rest is through participating in the good work happening on our Newton County Trails. As a church we have "adopted-a-spot" on Cricket Frog Trail which we clean up with YMCA!
Our spot is the section of the trail between Conyers Street and the Covington Bypass, and the next scheduled clean up date is Tuesday, September 6th at 10:00am.
For more information contact John McCarthy.
Faithfully,
Neeley Rentz Lane