Dear Grace and St Peter’s and St John’s,
This is likely going to be my last mid-week message for a few weeks so I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for coming on our great ecclesial adventure of the past few months. There have been many challenges and, also, many discoveries and delights.
Yes, meeting and worshiping on Zoom and Facebook has not been without regular surprises and annoyances. At the same time, we have learned new ways of being together and have made ourselves accessible to some who might not otherwise be able to join us. Plus, at least at Grace and St Peter’s, broadcasting our services allowed us to go on a virtual Sunday morning tour of our town, to share favorite locations, and to be refreshed by the natural treasures that exist within its borders. Which was your favorite spot? York Hill? Sleeping Giant? Edgerton Park? The heart mural at the Keefe Center? The front yard at Grace and St Peter’s?
But, perhaps the part of this whole unusual spring and summer church journey that I have enjoyed the most has been the past few weeks of worship in the side yard of St John’s. The yard is a lovely location, well-sized for what have been gatherings of about 50 people, with a nice mix of sun and shade—and it’s still relatively cool at 9AM. As I have said, our bi-parish organizing committee has done a great job of ensuring our health and safety while members of both parishes have generously offered their time and energy to make sure that our worship services run smoothly both live and online. Thank you St John’s for your hospitality and thank you Grace and St Peter’s for making the trip over the hill to graciously take part in this liturgical experiment.
In ten days time, Pam and I will be retreating to the (very) small lakeside cottage that we have been visiting for the past several years. We will barely notice quarantine concerns and social distancing requirements because that is what this vacation is all about—walking on a deserted early morning beach, open water swimming in a motor-free lake, reading, sleeping, eating and not much else. If this visit is like other visits, our souls will be refreshed and restored just like the broad leafed plant that I mentioned in last Sunday’s sermon. God’s watering can of the spirit will do its amazing work.
I wish the same for all of you—that you find time and place in your busy lives to notice God’s generous, loving presence all around you, that you welcome that presence into your hearts and that, transformed thereby, you offer the same loving presence to family and friends and all whom you meet. A better world—internal and external—is only one kind thought, prayer or action away!