Someone asked me what was happening at church this Sunday, and I replied, “it’s Rally Day!” The person replied, “What’s Rally Day?” “It’s the day Sunday School starts for the year; we bless teachers and children, and adults who are involved in the ministry of Christian education” (or words to that effect). But I wondered, myself, about the use of the term “Rally” day, so, ever hungry for bits of arcane knowledge, I looked it up.
Rally is an English word descended from Old French ralier and from Latin: from Latin prefix re- + ad + ligare (“to bind; to ally”). As it turns out, in Latin, the prefix re + ligare (to bind; to ally) also gives us the word religion, so I was glad to see the links etymologically speaking–if you stretch it–religion and rallying have something in common, the relationship of coming together as allies, as people who share common bonds. Re+ligare means to rebind, re-ligament, re-member something, and on Rally Day, here at St. Paul, we gather again to pay attention to that which binds us as allies in faith.
Rally also means in common usage, to bounce back, to gather, to unite, to rebound, to muster and Wiktionary gives these usages all of which could be said happen on Rally Day:
“1.To collect, and reduce to order, as a [gathering] dispersed or thrown into confusion; to gather again; to reunite.
2.To come into orderly arrangement; to renew order, or united effort, as a [flock] scattered or put to flight; to assemble; to unite.
3.To collect one’s vital powers or forces; to regain health or consciousness; to recuperate.
4.(business, trading) To recover strength after a decline in prices; — said of the market, stocks, etc.”
On Rally day, we reunite, we recollect, in an orderly arrangement our students and teachers, to gain spiritual well-being, and to collect our vital powers of faith, to recover strength, and re-enliven! Great words for a day of new classes, and teachers, renewing ourselves in faith.
Hope to see you there! 9:00 a.m. Registration in is the Undercroft and Fellowship Hall. This year’s theme is adapted from the Lutheran Youth Gathering: “saints of faith.” During worship, we’ll be hearing from our Youth Team who went to New Orleans.
Peace, Pastor Anne