Pastor’s Message

Slipping into Fall
Rev. Keith Leach, September 2021 (reprinted from September 2019)

Have you ever wondered why we call the 3rd season of the year “Fall”? Probably not. While I
have, I cannot help but think that most people do not see the world we live in from the same
“off-line” way I do!

At any rate, as we start this month of September, I cannot help but think about why it is called
“Fall”. Of course, I consulted the be all and end all of books that explain the origins of words,
the Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology. Interestingly “Fall” is believed to come as a
contraction of a very old English phrase, “the fall of the leaf”. Also interesting is that this
“Fall” and “Autumn” (believed to be delivered to the English language via France . . . via
Latin . . . see your English history notes) . . . both became popular during the 17th century. Easy to
see how both would have transitioned into the American English language. Great information
but I have to admit a more practical name would be “Raking Season” instead of Fall!

In this part of the world, we enter September firmly in the hot summer climate of Southside
Virginia, only to exit it thirty days later having transitioned into full fall weather and scenery.
September is a transitional month for us ecologically, and for us at College Church, mentally
too. We come in thinking of the season past, the joys and trips of summer, and we exit with a
campus full of freshmen, football season in full swing as well as a nip in the morning and
evening air.

I think this September that we at College Church will deal with this transitional month in more
ways than usual. Session has received quotes from our selected contractor on repairs for
the Sanctuary roof, plaster inside the Sanctuary, and will be prayerfully considering what
God has in mind for College Church. We have scheduled a congregational meal and
discussion for September 29th so that all can offer insight into this “transition”. [We did those
repairs. This fall the Session is prayerfully considering how to deal with COVID-19.]

I invite each of you to be in prayer and discernment, listening to God’s will for us as we move
forward. I also invite you to be in prayer for your Session as they grapple with information
and choices. As we slip into fall, let us not forget that the creator of all seasons has specific
plans for us in this place and time. Let us seek God’s plan with earnestness and joy.