As we approach this Labor Day weekend, I’ve had some interesting thoughts pop into my mind. A quick search on Wikipedia tells me that the first Monday in September was designated as a Federal holiday in 1894, to “honor and recognize the American labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States.” And of course over time, Labor Day has become the unofficial ending of Summer – one last, long weekend of beach trips, pool time and backyard barbecues.
So, as we wind down a season that has become associated with relaxation and time off, we honor the contributions of laborers and turn our attention again in earnest to the demands of school and work. And while I suspect that most of us don’t honor the Sabbath as much as we could by abstaining from some form of work or another, it’s a nice extension of the weekend and an extra Sabbath day of reflection. But I need to be careful here, as I will quickly “outrun my headlights” in terms of my depth of understanding of religious and Biblical interpretations of the Sabbath…
Anyway, I’m also thinking about Labor Day in terms of the Stewardship concept of “time, talent and treasures.” Although the Stewardship season, which will begin in earnest very soon, often feels like it is focused mostly on the “treasure” piece (remember to return those pledge cards!), St. John’s relies just as much on your year-round contributions of time and talent to make our parish such a wonderful resource and sanctuary for us all.
And that’s where my thoughts turned to Labor Day. We have a LOT going on right now at St. John’s in terms of the Preschool reopening, returning to in-person worship, adjusting to ever-changing COVID protocols, etc. – not to mention the significant consulting engagement with Ministry Architects. And YOU also have a lot going on right now, getting kids back to school safely, trying to work from home or beginning to return to the office, figuring out how to follow renewed Covid protocols … we are all carrying a big load right now, and it can be difficult to put that load down for a moment just to appreciate where we are and how far we’ve come.
When I was reminded that my article would be featured in this week’s newsletter, my first inclination was to provide an update on the work we’re doing with Ministry Architects, and all of the exciting next steps that lay ahead. It was right after that idea that another thought popped into my head: “Enough. Not this time.”
We have already asked many of you to contribute your time and talents to assist with the tasks I mentioned above, and there will be plenty more tasks ahead. Just for a moment, though, I hope that we can put those obligations aside, enjoy God’s presence in our lives, and share some time with our friends and families this Labor Day weekend. The work will be there when we return, and we will have plenty of time to accomplish it. Just think how much more we will be able to achieve after some rest and reflection!