National Back to Church Sunday is a national movement that has been celebrated every fall for the past 12 years. It is a movement of Christ-followers, reaching every neighborhood to invite every person to church where they can discover authentic Christ-centered community. After over a year of world-changing events that affected everyone, it’s time to bring people back together again at Leesburg United Methodist Church.
Now, more than ever, people need Jesus and a caring community where they can belong, grow and flourish. People are ready to be renewed. And on September 19, more people than ever before will be introduced to Jesus, will experience His hope and reconnect with others during National Back to Church Sunday!
Here at LUMC, Back to Church Sunday is our kickoff celebrating our joyous return to one another, with both in-person and virtual or physically distant opportunities. We’ve endured and continued to endure a worldwide pandemic together with many changes to our ministries. On September 19, we’re launching a contemporary worship service at 9 a.m., with music from our band Raising Praise. Our traditional service at 11 a.m. is in-person and livestreamed and features hymns and music by the Chancel Choir. Worshippers from the two services will come together for a time of outdoor fellowship at 10 a.m.
While we use the terminology of “Back to Church,” this means so much more than simply getting back into a building; or going back in time to the way things were prior to COVID-19. “Back to church” is really about renewing what it means for us to be the Church, the “body of Christ” to, for, and with one another, whether online or in-person. It’s about re-imagining and experiencing anew what it means to also be the visible presence of God’s love in the world! It’s about re-connecting, or for many, strengthening the connection, we have with each other and with Christ!
On Back to Church Sunday, Pastor Jim is sharing a special message as part of our “Renewed” sermon series. Like waves crashing against the shore with rhythmic regularity, the reality of COVID intrudes on our elusive quest for normalcy. The constant pivoting, mixed messages, concern for loved-ones safety can be exhausting, depleting, and discouraging. When circumstances around us threaten to wear us down and wear us out, how and where can we find strength to stand? And beyond finding strength to stand, can we actually find joy and inner renewal? The “Renewed!”, sermon series begins September 5, and seeks to fuel our faith and sustain our souls with biblical insights gained from stories of faith. On September 19, week three of our Renewed series will focus on “the company we keep”. In medieval times, the “keep” was “the innermost and strongest structure or central tower of a castle.” Let’s talk about the relationships in our lives that we hold close to our hearts, that strengthen and sustain us as followers of Jesus Christ. You’ll leave church feeling renewed, with a sense of hope for the future.
We have a number of other exciting events planned on Sunday, September 19, and we're adding more! We can’t wait to see you!
Here’s how we’re keeping everyone safe and healthy
While we’ve come a long way since the pandemic began, in light of the increasing risks associated with the Delta variant of COVID-19, even for the fully vaccinated, we are taking steps to keep all members of the church community safe as we move forward with in-person activities. We strongly encourage worshippers to wear a mask, refrain from handshakes and hugs, and register for worship until levels of transmission decrease.