It’s the middle of September, and I’m still getting used to the idea of it being September!

Somehow the shift from the lazy, hazy days of summer to the pumped-up energy of the first week of school, the resumption of committee gatherings at the General Council Office, and the flurry of welcome back Sundays in congregations, is just a little abrupt.

In these transitional times of year many of us feel torn between the time past and the time coming.

I had some good opportunities over the summer for rest, recreation, and reconnection with family and friends. I hope you did too.

It’s not that these busy fall days are a burden. They are full of energy and sprinkled with uplifting moments. But change is always an adjustment.

Some of the finest moments over the past couple of weeks at the office have been around reconnecting with colleagues. We’ve compared stories of our summer experiences, and of joys as well as sorrows. It’s good to catch up with one another, and to plan for the work of the coming months. We will have more of these times next week, when our fall Staff Leaders gathering brings together all the Executive Secretaries from the Conferences and the management group from the General Council Office.

Outside of the office, I get excited every September about the Toronto International Film Festival. Last year our visit to our partner church in Korea (the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea) took precedence over attending the Film Festival, but this year I was back at it and last weekend I managed to cram in six movies. I even introduced the Moderator to the whole experience, just one movie this year but I expect she will be back next year. There are movies from all over the world on view, offering an incredible range of different cultural contexts which are all somehow connected by themes common to all of humanity. Fascinating.

Blessings to all as we move from summer into fall, as we move back into familiar routines or venture into new experiences.


Nora Sanders is General Secretary of The United Church of Canada. ​This message was originally sent to subscribers to the General Secretary's Letter, "Note from Nora." To subscribe, visit the United Church website.