After all we are a mainline protestant church, so we do not have the same saints that the Catholic church or the Eastern Orthodox church has. We may recognize them in a similar fashion, but our doctrine does not call for a specific belief in or prayer to "the saints." Are those the kind of saints that we are celebrating on Sunday?
When I think of saints, I also think of people who are "saintly" here on earth. "Oh, she's such a saint!" might be something you hear about someone who is kind and giving, who puts herself before others and seemingly is never at fault. They are humble and Godly, seeking God's way here in this life. Perhaps those are the saints that we are celebrating this year?
You know me, I can't help myself and have to mention Louisiana at least once - are we talking about those "Saints" that play football down there? (I think this year they aren't doing so well, so they are affectionately called "The 'Aints".) There is also an all-girl R&B singing group from the U.K. that call themselves AllSaints. Are either of these "saints" the ones we are talking about on Sunday?
We remember those individuals from our congregation that have passed away in the last year, and celebrate their life as a community of faith one more time, together. We remember those individuals that have passed away in this past year, and also invite one another to remember the saints in our own lives and celebrate them. So does that mean we are moving more towards a "Day of the Dead," celebration like many cultures in South America celebrate, where we are remembering the deceased? Are those the saints that we celebrate?
Yes, we are celebrating the saints on Sunday. We are celebrating all the saints in our lives, both living and deceased, those whom the Catholic and/or Eastern Orthodox churches might recognize, and those who may only be recognizable to us. We are celebrating the saints on Sunday, the life-long saints and the everyday saints. So why don't you join us? Come find out about this special day, about who we will celebrate, and join in this special service. ALL are welcome at Overland Park, especially on this day!
We invite all who worship with us this Sunday to bring a photo of a "saint" in your life, if you would like. We will adorn the chancel, and remind ourselves of the "cloud of witnesses" with whom we worship. You are invited to leave those photos for ONE WEEK as we will move them into our prayer chapel for the coming week. (If you would prefer to take them home tomorrow, that is also fine.)
No matter what, we hope to see you on Sunday - you are loved, and we can't wait to worship together!