Everybody is already saying, where did the summer go? We get to August and it seems like fall is staring us in the face. It sure feels that way around here. Anyway, this seems like a good opportunity to bring my faithful readers up to date on what is going on around Nativity and also with my schedule.
Thanks to everyone who helped make possible all our wonderful summer programs for kids and students, all of which are wrapping up this week. Thanks, too, go to everyone who undertook mission and service projects this summer including missions to Haiti and, for the first time, Kenya. Also we have all been enjoying our summer message series, “Foolproof” and currently “Life of Paul.” Thanks to Tom Corcoran, Chris Wesley and Brian Crook for their inspiring teaching week after week.
ON and ONLINE CAMPUS
Summertime is a great time for us to catch up on campus improvements and upgrades. Come the fall you will notice upgrades in some of our technology, and enhancements in the Time Travelers Theatre and well as the Cafe. Some additional efforts will be made to improve the experience of our video venues in the Pavilion and the Chapel. Meanwhile, the plan is to expand our on-line campus, live streaming throughout Sunday morning.
The Vision Campaign launched last spring continues to gain strength and support. This fall we look forward to hosting open house meetings after all Masses one weekend to bring everyone up to date on all the specifics including how much we have raised to date and how many people have participated so far. At that time we will also review where we are with the planning for our building project. While there is no evidence that anything is happening, we are exactly where we hoped to be at this point (thanks to our wonderful parish leaders).
We will be adding some visual reminders of the campaign around the church and campus to make sure it is getting everyone’s lively attention and support. Also, this fall you will find a campaign display in the Great Hall where parishioners, guests and new comers alike can continue to be introduced to this wonderful project.
Anyway, bottom line: it is all going exceptionally well.
Typically, summertime is the time for any staffing changes. We have more than a few this year. There are some wonderful folks joining our team in behind the scenes roles for which we are most grateful; if you happen to drop by the office anytime you can say hello and welcome to Linda, Bob, Brandon and Austen. We are also welcoming Stephanie Downes, who joins our staff full time as Director of Adult Ministry and Jackie Guidera who steps into a full time role as Director of Small Groups.
My associate Tom Corcoran and his wife Mia welcomed their seventh child, Lydia, in July. Lucas Busko (our Creative Director) is getting married this week to former Nativity staffer Maria Folsom-Kovarik. And our Director of Communications, Kristin Costanza, is recently engaged to be married and now working to identify a wedding date perhaps in late spring. Best wishes to all.
FALL MESSAGE SERIES
We have already planned our fall message series starting “Kick-Off Weekend” on September 6 & 7 with “Who Do You Think You Are?” all about our identity in Christ. Later in the fall we are going to tackle the topic of death and dying and then our Advent/Christmas series is all about angels. Christmas, of course, will once again be at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in the Cow Palace.
BOOK and CONFERENCE NEWS
Rebuilt continues to gain lots of attention and, hopefully, help many parishes. Tools for Rebuilding makes its own progress in finding an audience. We are very pleased with the reception both books have received. Tom and I continue to receive speaking requests, which we are happy to accept, as long as they don’t interfere with our weekend or other parish responsibilities. Oftentimes we split up the engagements and Brian or Chris will come with one of us. So far this summer we’ve been to Joliet, Detroit, Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, University of Notre Dame and we cap it all off next week with a conference in Sydney, Australia. After that we hopefully return to our normal schedule in the fall.
We are actively at work on a third book, this one on communication and preaching. If it all comes together we would be looking at a fall 2015 publishing date.
Registration is now open for MATTER 14, our second annual church conference on November 6 & 7. It will be an amazing experience as well as a lot of fun. And, once again, our friend and best selling author Patrick Lencioni will be joining us. If you are working or serving in a parish, register now and bring some of your team with you. If you are a parishioner at Nativity, you can sign up to serve. Either way this conference will fill up and sell out so make your plans soon. More information regarding MATTER 14 can be found by visiting www.matterconference.tv.