On occasion, in what passes as a greeting, someone asks me: “What’s new?” Most of the time I reply with an equally non-descript “same old, same old.” It’s the kind of idiomatic code that drives speakers of proper English nuts.

This month, however, my answer to “what’s new?” is “lots.”

Next week, August 22 to be exact, marks Michael Kellett’s first official day in the office as Minister with Children and Youth.

Here’s my quick advice about welcoming Michael and his family.

    • Tell him your name, and don’t be critical of him if he doesn’t remember it the next time you see him. There are hundreds of you and only one of him.
    • Be patient if he doesn’t jump on your agenda the first day. Give him time to figure out how to turn on the computer, locate the restroom, discover which key fits the door to the office and where to find the 5th grade Sunday school class. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. Grow some.
    • Ask him how you can help with our ministries to children and youth. The more people who lend a hand the easier Michael’s job will be. Volunteer, and he will remember you forever.
    • Help them settle to Richmond. Moving is a big adjustment, especially for their three children who have never moved before. Flowers are nice, as are coupons or gift cards to a local restaurant or invitations to eat ice cream. You are such nice people. Show them your wonderful hospitality.

Another new thing falls under the headings “fun,” “fellowship,” “missions,” or all three. On Saturday, September 7, our church will join members of Trinity United Methodist Church, our neighbor down the street, for the Mission Footprint 5K. It is a 5K (3.1 miles) run/walk/stroll around the Westham community to raise funds for two causes dear to the hearts of both congregations—CARITAS and CrossOver Ministries.

There will be a children’s race at 7:30 a.m., followed by youth and adult 5K at 8 a.m. You can sign up on our church’s website, or through our Church Office. Registration is $25 ($30 for paper) for youth and adults, with a maximum of $60 for an entire family. Proceeds from the event will be divided equally between CARITAS and CrossOver.

The church that signs up the most participants will hold the coveted “Flying Foot” trophy for the next year. Come on River Roaders!