A MESSAGE FROM BETSY
"We are a connectional church."
I hope you've heard that statement before. It is true of Northridge, and it is true of every church in our denomination. One mark of our denomination is connectionalism, which is shorthand for saying we are one body. We are not invested solely in our church and we do not stand on our own. We are connected to a larger body and invested in relationships and ministry beyond the walls of this church.

Our connectedness shows up in many ways. This congregation has a rich history of members participating in the life of the larger church by joining Presbytery committees and task forces. For church staff, there are usually no shortage of invitations to "serve the larger church." Sometimes those invitations come in the form of Presbytery involvement, sometimes they come from church-related institutions or networks.

Though church connectionalism doesn't sound very exciting, I love that participating in the life of the church beyond Northridge holds the possibility of connecting with people who we may not meet otherwise and inevitably striking up conversations and wonderings about how others are living out faith in today's world. Being connected is a gift!

As we start a new program year, I thought you may be interested to know how some of the staff are serving the larger church.

Emily Cox is a member of the Children and Youth Committee of Grace Presbytery. This a committee of people committed to transformational faith formation for our young people. She is also a member of the Grace Presbytery Church Educators Group where various leaders share their ideas, resources, and reflections with one another. Previously, she served as a member of the Covid Task Force, offering guidance on safe gathering protocols for children and youth.

Bryan Page is currently supplying hymn suggestions for the official journal of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians. They offer suggestions and resources to accompany the lectionary readings. This journal is published by the Office of Theology and Worship of the PC(USA). He also just completed a commissioned piece of music for St. Thomas Aquinas titled "Festival Concertato."

And, I have just finished service as a member of Davidson College's Reformed Tradition Working Group. We were a group appointed by the Board of Trustees to imagine how Davidson can continue to embody and enhance its relationship to the PC(USA). Currently, I'm serving on the Vision Team for Grace Presbytery. We are a group of twelve who will work over the next year to map out a vision for who God is calling the Presbytery to become. This vision will ultimately inform the search for the Presbytery's next Executive Presbyter.

It is a gift for us to be connected to colleagues and lay leaders from beyond Northridge. And, it's a gift that through our connection to others, we get to share stories of Northridge. And, I speak for all of us when I say that we are always happy to share more with you about our involvement in the larger church and what we're learning through these commitments. And, we'd love to hear the same from you if you're serving the larger church.
With great hope,
Betsy
MASKS REQUIRED INDOORS
Face Mask 2
Masks are required—regardless of vaccination status—for indoor worship and all other meetings and activities in the building. It is recommended that people practice social distancing when in the building.

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 worshiping from home, then we encourage you to worship via livestream.
THIS WEEK IN WORSHIP
This fall, we're exploring what in our faith needs to be "reclaimed" by us. Are there words that seem worn or void of meaning? Have we forgotten the worth of some of the gifts of our faith?

Rev. Betsy Lyles Swetenburg
will be preaching a sermon titled
Reclaimed: Boundaries

You're invited to read
in preparation for Sunday.
THIS SUNDAY: SPEAKER SANDY KRESS
Don't miss our next adult education series with renowned educator Sandy Kress!

He will lead us (in person!) in a discussion on "Patriarchs, Matriarchs, and You: What Can We Learn from the Old Testament Leaders?"

Head to Quillin Hall during the 10:00 a.m. Connection Hour on September 26.
NEW CLASSES FOR ADULTS BEGIN OCT. 3

A discussion group will begin October 3rd on the book Flawed Family of God: Stories About the Imperfect Families of Genesis. Each week the group will discuss a different chapter from the book that focuses on different crises or moments of tension from Genesis that relate to our familial experience now. If you don't have time to read, please still plan to come! The facilitator will give a summary of the chapter at the beginning of each class. If you would like to dig in deeper and read this fascinating book, click the button below.

An Additional Class Choice: Living the Questions Study will begin on October 3rd as well. This class will be using a video-based curriculum that features acclaimed scholars, theologians, and other experts as they seek to study in a new way. On their website this study is described as "...an open-minded alternative to studies that attempt to give participants all the answers and instead strives to create an environment where participants can interact with one another in exploring what’s next for Christianity."

To learn more Click here.
OFFICER NOMINATING COMMITTEE
THE OFFICER NOMINATING COMMITTEE WOULD LIKE
TO HEAR FROM THE CONGREGATION

The ONC would like suggestions from the congregation as to who you think would be a good choice for Elder or Deacon. The nominating committee will begin their work this month to put together a slate of officers for the coming term. Please email Anne Raymond with your suggestions. Thank you.
NEW: SINGLE-SESSION GRIEF WORKSHOP
NEW: SINGLE-SESSION GRIEF WORKSHOP ON OCTOBER 13th
 
As we start this new fall season, there is much to enjoy and be grateful for in our personal lives, as a church, as a nation and as a world. However, 2020 was bathed in many forms of anxiety and grief. For some there was a death of a loved one in isolation, for others it may have been a struggling marriage, the loss of a job, the stress of home-schooling children or maybe even the loss of a beloved family pet. 

Suffering comes in many forms and in many different waves. And even though our lives are returning to some form of normalcy, the stress and suffering did not all magically go away with a vaccination. But it is in great suffering and great love that transformation and healing occur. Communal lament reminds us that we are not alone and makes us mindful of the sufferings of our neighbors. 

Northridge wants to try something new by providing an intimate setting and safe place to name and share in our suffering. If these words resonate with you, please consider joining us for an evening of comfort as we gather to share our laments and be guided through ways to recognize and find hope in the midst of our suffering. 
 
Wednesday, October 13th
6:00 — 8:00 p.m.
Childcare included 
Room 131
 
Wendy Fenn - Barbara Rader - Betsy Swetenburg
ADULT EDUCATION
Bible Study: Tuesdays - 7:30 a.m.
Join us!
Meeting ID: 954 9571 6184
Passcode: 027540
WIRED WORD - Wednesday, Sept. 22 via ZOOM


Meeting ID: 837 1620 1906
Passcode: 681172

Each week, The Wired Word provides resources on a current event. This week's topic is: "U.S. Drone Strike Results in 'Tragic Mistake.'"

An email is sent to those interested. Previous participants don't need to sign up again — they're on the list. Those who would like to join or who would like more information are invited to contact Mike Marcotte at marcottem@prodigy.net.
The 4, 5, 6ers got together for the first time this fall and made blessing bags, played games, ate lunch, and prayed together.
Their next event will be Sunday, November 7 at 12:00 PM. 
KID CONNECTION

We've resumed Sunday School with a new twist! We are providing space for many different learning levels and styles through a Montessori-like learning environment where we will continue to offer substantive and meaningful opportunities for faith development.

Children will begin with a combined gathering with music and a Bible story on the children's wing south porch. They will then divide into two groups (preschool and elementary) where they will rotate through various stations at their own pace, learning in various ways about the story for the week.

We will be using the new PC(USA) curriculum, Follow Me. This curriculum helps kids learn about what following Jesus looks like in daily life. We will begin with a series on Welcoming and head into a series on Following Jesus.

YOUTH CONNECTION

Youth Connection begins Sunday,
September 19 at 10:00 a.m.
in the Youth Suite.

Teachers Monty Watson, Mike Buchanan, and
Linda Hale Buchanan will be leading the youth. Come join us!
ONE & DONE CHOIR: REVISITED!
Northridge is back in full effect with our program year! Most activities are dialed down a bit for COVID-19 concerns—some with slight modifications, others with more constraints—but the bottom line is that we are all currently defining our new normal.

Here is an update on the Music Ministry:

For children and youth, Emily and I are discussing creative and practical ways to involve your kids in music.

For adults, our Chancel Choir and Chancel Bells are rehearsing weekly.

Unfortunately, our beloved One & Done Choir is not ready to come back yet, however we DO have an exciting new singing opportunity similar to One & Done Choir!

The musical ensemble that leads at our 9 a.m. worship service is hearts&hands&voices, and on Sunday, September 26, we will have our first ever hearts&hands&ALLvoices!

(say WHAT?)

For those of you who have participated in One & Done Choir before, it’s a similar drill; for those of you who haven’t, here’s how it works:

1)     Show up THIS Sunday, September 26 in the lower parking lot at 8:45 a.m.
2)     Learn ONE song
3)     Help lead that song at the beginning of worship
4)     Go sit down with your family for the remainder of the service
           
Yes...it’s THAT simple!

“What will we be singing?” you ask . . . click HERE for a video tutorial of the song, “Bring Forth the Kingdom” by Marty Haugen.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at bryanp@northridgepc.org, or call the church office at (214) 827-5521. I hope to see you all there!
MISSION COMMITTEE: HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Northridge Without Borders is looking for volunteers to help with the coming influx of Afghani refugees:
1.     Become a Welcome Team member via Refugee Service of Texas (RST):  Our welcome team will assist with airport pickup, provide a culturally appropriate welcome meal, set up an apartment, and provide groceries for arriving families. The first step is to complete a volunteer orientation and background check through Refugee Services of Texas. Click here to sign up via the RST website. For more information, contact Clare Stein (clare1234@sbcglobal.net) or MerriLee Anderson (mlandersonphd@gmail.com).
 
2. Participate in our Toiletry Drive by donating any of the following items for families in need: (box in the narthex for your donations)
·        Toothpaste
·        Toothbrushes
·        Deodorant
·        Razors
·        Soap/body wash
·        Shampoo
·        Combs/brushes
·        Feminine products
 
3.   Support RST's Amazon List — click here to purchase other needed items for families.
 
Many thanks from The Mission Committee!
Many thanks to those of you who joined us for our PCHAS workday! Nineteen Northridge members attended and completed several projects: 

·     Cleaned 2 houses to prep for move-in.
·     Organized Storage Facility & arranged
a "shopping day" for families.
·   Prepared unwanted items for Salvation
Army pick up.
·     Prepared a cookout for members and
families.

PCHAS is grateful for our support and the Mission Committee will plan additional workdays in the future to support our mission partners.
NWB BOOK STUDY: SEPTEMBER 29

Join Northridge Without Borders in a discussion about "Somewhere in the Unknown World: A Collective Refugee Memoir" by Kao Kalia Yang.

The group discussion will take place here at Northridge at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday evening, September 29th.