A MESSAGE FROM BETSY
This Sunday begins our new Sunday morning schedule and I hope you're planning to join us. We’ll have outdoor worship at 9 AM. We’ll be in the lower parking lot and a pray-ground will be available for children. Bring your own chair or blanket (and your sunglasses!). At 10 AM, we’ll have a Welcome Home Fair where you can learn about opportunities to get involved with the various ministries of the church. It will be a traveling breakfast – at each ministry table there will be a small breakfast item. Once you make it through all the different tables, you’ll have a full breakfast that you can enjoy outside as you catch up with friends. There will be a Bubble Truck for children during that time so be sure they wear clothes that can get wet and pack a towel. At 11 AM, there will be worship in the sanctuary. The choir will return to lead us and we’ll welcome a group of new members. It will be a joyful day all the way around.

We'll begin a new sermon series this week titled Who Are We Now? I decided some time ago that in light of our return this fall – return to church, to offices, to school, to a new program year, to travel, and more – it would be helpful for us as a community to ask: who are we now and what can the Bible teach us about returning? Who are we now that we’re in our eighteenth month of pandemic life? Who are we now that we’ve watched our world shift so drastically? Who are we now that we’ve lost jobs? Who are we in light of the many global crises as of late? Who are we now that we've been cooped up for so long? Who are we now that we’ve watched people we love suffer and die? Who are we now that we’ve had to delay rituals or drastically modify big life moments? There are so many questions for us to reflect on as individuals and as a community. And researchers who study "post-traumatic growth" have found that it's not the traumatic event itself that leads to growth, but rather how the event is processed, the changes in worldview that result, and the active search for meaning the we undertake during and after trauma. My hope is that we can engage that personal and communal reflection.

For the next three weeks, we’ll explore what the Bible has to say about returning and practices that can help us navigate our answers to the questions we face. We’ll explore lament, hope, and blessing.

I hope you’ll continue your reflection beyond worship, too. Mary Marcotte has created a beautiful opportunity for you to reflect with a labyrinth, a wailing wall, and a hopeful hallway. There are details on the labyrinth below — it is available to you during the week. The wailing wall and the hopeful hallway are spaces where you can name your laments and your hopes, joining them with the laments and hopes of others from this community. During the 10 AM connection hour on August 29 and September 5, there will be continued opportunities for your personal reflection on this moment of returning.

On a personal note, I will be out of the office next week for continuing education. I'm gathering with my preaching group and we'll be led in a preaching workshop by Rev. Dr. Craig Barnes, who is the president of Princeton Seminary. We've each prepared our preaching plans through next summer, so in addition to working on individual sermons and preaching styles, we'll workshop our plans for the coming year. I'm grateful to be able to get away and I trust that my preaching and our communal worship will be enriched as a result of my work with this group. You can contact the office with any pastoral needs and Lynn will reach out to me as needed with pastoral concerns.

With great hope,
Betsy
UPDATE FROM THE
COVID RESPONSE COORDINATING TEAM
Due to revised CDC guidelines and the increased COVID threat level for Dallas County, the CRCT recommended and Session adopted the following COVID protocols:

Masks are required – regardless of vaccination status – for indoor worship and other meetings and activities in the building (including Sunday school and committee and Session meetings) and also recommends that people in the building for worship or other purposes be strongly encouraged to socially distance.

Additional protocols include:
  • People are strongly encouraged to socially distance. In church, immediate family members may sit together in the same pew; otherwise, people should socially distance themselves.
  • People should congregate (if they choose to do so) outside the building before or after worship but should not congregate in the sanctuary, narthex or elsewhere in the building.
  • Childcare will be available but childcare workers will be masked. 
  • No food or drink will be served or permitted inside the sanctuary or other areas of the building.
  • The choir will be limited to a number that can be socially distanced when singing.

Worship continues to be available via livestream on our YouTube channel. If you are feeling ill, have been exposed to COVID-19, or simply feel more comfortable worshipping from home, then we encourage you to worship via livestream.
THIS WEEK IN WORSHIP - NEW SCHEDULE BEGINS!
Rev. Betsy Lyles Swetenburg
will be preaching a sermon titled
Who Are We Now? Lament

You're invited to read
in preparation for Sunday.

The Bubble Truck will be here THIS SUNDAY, August 22!

Children are invited to play in the Bubble Truck in the lower parking lot during our 10:00 a.m. Welcome Home Fair. There will be a kid-friendly breakfast provided for them, as well as plenty of fun!

Please have your child in a swimsuit and bring a towel and change of clothes. 
WELCOME HOME FAIR
THIS SUNDAY, August 22nd at 10 AM

Join us on August 22nd as we launch our new Sunday morning schedule and kick off our fall programming with a giant Welcome Home Fair! Outdoor worship will be at 9 AM and Sanctuary worship will be at 11 AM. At 10 AM during the Connection Hour, there will be booths throughout the building and lower parking lot that share information about how you can get plugged in at Northridge. From Faith Formation to Mission Opportunities to Pickleball, we hope you will join us and learn more about the life of this community. 

During this time, the Northridge Kids will have fun playing outside with the Dallas Bubble Truck and will get their very own kid-friendly breakfast!
LABYRINTH OPEN FOR REFLECTION
Reflect in the Labyrinth from August 18-29

In conjunction with our next sermon series, you are invited to come reflect, hope, and lament over the past year and the time to come.

Enter this quiet time of reflection from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, or from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Sundays in the adult classroom 130-131.

If you come during the week, enter the church through the office doors. Bring a pair of socks, as you will be instructed to remove your shoes as part of the practice.
LITERACY ACHIEVES NEEDS VOLUNTEERS THIS FALL
LITERACY ACHIEVES VOLUNTEER TEACHING OPPORTUNITIES
FOR 2021 FALL SEMESTER
 
Applications are now being accepted for volunteer teaching at Literacy Achieves, one of Northridge’s primary mission partners, for the fall 2021 semester. Classes start Monday, September 13 (both online and in-person classes are currently planned).
  • You do not need to speak a foreign language or have teaching experience. Literacy Achieves provides the curriculum and training. Opportunities are available for morning, afternoon, or evening classes. 
  • Time commitment is 2 hours per week for a 12 week or 13 week semester. Volunteer teacher opportunities are available at the Vickery Meadow, ELM-East Dallas and West Dallas locations. Additional volunteers needed for office help, tutoring, student registrations and recognition, or other special events. 
  • To learn more about volunteer teaching opportunitiescontact LaTress Peoples volunteer@LiteracyAchieves.org  214.265.5057 x 114 or complete your application online at LiteracyAchieves.org
FLOWER CALENDAR DATES OPEN THIS FALL

The Worship Committee will be offering a flower calendar for those who would like to provide flowers for worship beginning Sunday, Aug. 29th.

The sign-up sheet will be available during the Welcome Home event this Sunday, Aug. 22nd, at 10:00 a.m. Look for it at the Worship Committee table, or you may call the church office to see if a date you want is open.
FALL GRIEF RECOVERY WORKSHOP: REGISTER NOW
Faith & Grief Recovery Workshop
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN
 
Have you lost a loved one in the last year or two? Or has someone you know? This workshop is open to Northridge members and the community at large with a limited class size. 

In conjunction with the Dallas-based Faith & Griefsm Ministries, Northridge will offer an 8-week Faith & Grief Recovery Workshop, beginning September 13. The workshop is a series of sessions where participants explore sacred stories related to grief, share their stories in small group discussions, and are introduced to spiritual practices designed to promote comfort in grief. The workshop will be facilitated by Faith & Grief cofounder Rev. Wendy Fenn and senior workshop leader Rev. Diane Pennington.

The series will be held in person at Northridge on Monday evenings, September 13—November 1, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. There is no cost to attend*. To learn more about Faith & Griefsm Workshop and to register, use the link at the top, or contact Tony Cummins at tw.cummins@outlook.com.
*Registrations cancelled less than 2 weeks in advance will incur a $20 materials recovery fee. 
ADULT EDUCATION
Bible Study: Tuesdays - 7:30 a.m.
Join us!
Meeting ID: 954 9571 6184
Passcode: 027540