From the Pastor

(June 2022)

I’m sitting down to write this summer newsletter article with one eye on my to-do list, and one eye on Memorial Day.  In just a few days, we’ll cross the unofficial threshold of summer, and into the shifting patterns of sun, vacation, gardens and farms, and grilling!  I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to summer.  I can’t wait for evenings on the back porch of the parsonage.  It’s a really special space to me.  I can see the garden, I can watch my kids, but most importantly, I’ll spend most of it just hanging with Jennie or hosting friends, telling silly stories, and then just sitting in silence.  I can’t wait to get to the beach.  In our house, I’m the “water guy,” so while most folks sit on the beach and enjoy the sights and sounds, you will find me down in the water getting beat up by the ocean while I boogie board with the kids.  A little ice cream, a little mini golf on the side, and I can already see how the summer is shaping up to be awesome as we duck and dive between Sundays and pig shows.

 

I hope you are as well.  I hope you’ve got some time away on your calendar.  I hope you’ve got a place to crash on a warm summer evening to just chill with some friends.  I hope you’ve got some activities that give you life.  With a world that feels so very heavy, we cannot do our best work unless we are filled with life.  It’s not just a break; it’s a spiritual discipline.

 

Along with these thoughts, I’m also anticipating some extra space and time for prayer.  I know it sounds cliché.  I really don’t mean it to.  When I think about the beach, I often take an extra few minutes in the mornings to go sit on the porch in the quiet and breath in the salty air of the morning while I say my prayers.  It’s not better prayer, but it is different.  Morning prayer before a day of fun is not only relaxing, it is orienting for me.  It connects me to my deepest self in a new way.  I also anticipate some evening prayer on the back porch.  As the day comes to an end, I get the opportunity to offer up the day – all that I am and all that I am not – give thanks, place myself in God’s hand, and settle down for a summer sleep.

 

As you are putting your plans together, I encourage you to make a place for faith.  Summer is a wonderful time to actually add something small and simple to your faith/prayer life.  I’d love for you to download or print off our St. Mary’s Prayer Liturgy and pray along with the church day by day.  Pick up a new devotional/book/audiobook to stretch your thinking.  Stay connected to worship even when your away with our online platforms and livestreamed worship.  Whatever you add, do so without expectation.  All we’re doing is opening ourselves up to God’s blessings in a new way.  Maybe it comes to pass, perhaps not.  But time spent with God is time well spent, and God never fails to honor that time.  God takes just as much pleasure in our rest and leisure as our work. 

 

May you find this summer to be a time of restoration, of discovery, and of resting in God’s kind and gracious care.  Peace and good!

 

Pastor Sam