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Greetings from The Downtown Church! This is a bi-weekly email with information about events, updates, and other fun things from the leadership of the church.

It is mid August, and the community is gearing up for another school year. It's been a long time since I did any back-to-school shopping for my kids or wondered about bus routes and first day of school jitters. I remember clearly the angst of dropping Emily off at the University of Tulsa and Ben removing me gently but firmly from her dorm room, as I pretty much “lost it.” I think I cried all the way to Joplin. Not because she couldn’t handle college, but because it was time to face the fact that she would not be in our home everyday. I was the one unprepared, not Emily.

Yesterday, I saw what I looked like a parent loaded down with bags and boxes helping a student move into the apartments across the street. In a flash, I was back to that teary ride home from Oklahoma. Whether a student is going to preschool or to college, it is a season of letting go. Parents and caregivers have to trust in the people who will be influencing the lives of those we love. Bus drivers, school lunch workers, nurses, paraprofessionals, and the administrators are working behind the scenes. Teachers and professors are on the front lines. After-school activities, from dance to football to marching band, will put others in the circle of people who will lead and instruct our kids.

What have I learned about letting go? I’ve learned it's hard and necessary. I’ve learned that I am not always good at it. I often want to let go, but not too far. And I’ve learned that the only way to navigate this season is to trust in the Lord God who loves these students more than we can imagine. To trust that we have prepared them as best we can. To trust that the people who will have an impact in our student’s lives are capable and ready. Trust and pray.

Join us this Sunday as we pray intentionally for the school year ahead and once more put our trust in the Lord God Almighty who always wants the best for us.

See you Sunday,

Our annual All-Church Picnic is on Sunday, August 27, from 4:30-7pm. We'll be back at the pavilion in Phelps Grove Park. We'll provide the hot dogs and hamburgers, but we need you to bring drinks, chips, sides, and desserts. Here are the assignments: If you're over 70, bring a dessert; If you're between 40-70, bring a side dish, and if you're under 40, bring chips & drinks. It's going to be a blast, so plan to join us for a fun afternoon at the park!
Our September First Friday Art Walk is just a couple weeks away. Jump into the Labor Day weekend with some big fun at The Downtown Church! We'll have live music from our very own Melinda Mullins with the Layton Hollow Gals, kids activities, popcorn and lemonade. It's all free and it goes from 6-8pm on Friday, September 1st.

There is still time to find the right Dinners Together date and time for your schedule. Sign up in the main hallway this Sunday or email us back and we'll fill you in on the spots that are still available. We promise you will have fun, so take the plunge and jump in!

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