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Photo credit:  Charlie Bauer; permission required for reuse.

This week is one of my favorite weeks of the year.  This is the time when our church community transforms our property for our Annual Fall Festival.  Leading up to this week, there is a lot of organizing, delegating, preparing, and a fair amount of stress.  But this week, everything snaps into place.  The setup crew knows exactly what to breakdown and where it goes.  The Attic Treasures crew knows just what layout works and the room is magically converted to look like the same inviting space.  Later, our parking crew will come out and lay out where cars can park, tents will be erected, and all kinds of goods will be placed.  Having done the festival for nineteen years, we know the drill and seem to operate from muscle memory.

I love this week for several reasons.  One, I love seeing the community come together – both parishioners and neighbors alike, to make for a fun week of memories, laughter, and new experiences.  I love seeing people’s passion for helping others unfold in a way that is loving, affirming, and fun.  And I also love seeing people step up, taking on things that are a burden on their time, but doing so for the greater good.  The week truly is inspiring, and I love inviting the larger community into our joy.

This week – or perhaps next week after the dust has settled – I invite you to consider what other parts of your faith life might need to be flexed enough so that you have muscle memory around them as well.  Perhaps it is just making Sunday worship a part of your weekly experience with God – letting the routine of liturgy create a common pattern for you, while also seeing how the routine of liturgy creates surprising moments of grace and joy.  Maybe your muscle memory can form around inviting people to church.  I find the more I talk about a thing I am passionate about, the more talking about it becomes easy.  Or maybe your muscle memory will be around creating practices that feed your soul – our monthly book group, our yearly Women’s Retreat, a weekly Bible Study or Choir rehearsal.  If any of these practices create even a portion of the joy we experience during Fall Festival week, I expect you are in for a real treat.  I cannot wait to hear about it!