Originally published in the monthly Explorer, August 2014 Edition

September has more than four letters, but some people still consider it a dirty word.

Teachers, who relish the break from the stress and ramble of the classroom. Students, who relish the break from the stress and ramble of the classroom. This may the only thing on which both groups agree.

There are also those who would like for life to be one endless summer. Those of us who have to mow grass are not sure we would want that to be.

If it’s August, September cannot be far behind. And that’s a good thing when it comes to church.

Because of a wrinkle in the calendar, the first weekend of September will not be Labor Day weekend. By the first Sunday in September public schools will already be in session and our Fall church programming will be underway.

Saturday, September 6, is the day of the Mission Footprint 5K. Mission Footprint 5K is a joint event of River Road Church, Baptist and our neighbor, Trinity United Methodist Church. Runners and walkers from both churches will line up that morning in front of Trinity Church and set out on a 5K, 3.1 mile, run/walk.

The event has several purposes. First, it is a delightful way to spend an hour or so on a September morning getting a little exercise in the Westham community near our two churches. Second, it promotes fellowship with our neighbor congregation. Third, it enables us to raise some money for a worthy mission cause.

This year we will be raising money for Camp Alkulana and Westview on the James. Camp Alkulana, as most of you know, is sponsored by the Richmond Baptist Association. Westview is an outdoor ministry of the Fredericksburg, Charlottesville, and Richmond Districts of the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church.

The next day, Sunday September 7, is Celebration Sunday around River Road. We will celebrate the return of regular schedules, the beginning of Sunday school classes for the Fall, and we will enjoy a potluck dinner at church that evening. It’s a fun kickoff for the Fall season.

Many other opportunities for worship, fellowship, nurture and service will take place in September around our church. Sign up to run or walk in the Mission Footprint 5K.