Things often get kind of quiet at church in the summer since lots of people are away for vacations or weekends at the beach; and this summer especially, many of us are absolutely itching to get away since we’ve been homebound for so long with the pandemic. While Covid-19 continues its rampage across the globe, and we are not totally out of the woods here either, this summer nevertheless feels like such a breath of fresh air! I hope you are enjoying the gift.
While things may seem quiet at St. John’s this summer, and each of our staff and key leaders at St. John’s also will take time away for some blessed Sabbath rest, there remains a steady buzz of activity going on just below the surface.
Your Vestry, staff, and core leadership will use the summer to get re-organized after a year of being dis-organized by the pandemic. By this fall we hope to find you and the entire parish eager to engage in the collaborative and creative work of re-imagining St. John’s with the facilitating guidance of Ministry Architects.
By fall, there will be a team of people in place to steward this process; and another team to gather us as a parish so we can look back on how we’ve grown in our sense of mission over the last few years, and reflect on all we’re learning from our experiences both before and through the pandemic. We’ll then work to refine our vision of the kind of presence God calls us to be in this community and articulate our core values as a community. With prayer throughout, we’ll seek to articulate what difference it makes that St. John’s is here praying together and walking the Way of Love together – both for those who join us as members of the Body of Christ, and for those who will never set foot in our church buildings. And then our leadership will build out some plans to keep us focused and moving toward God’s purposes for us while loving one another as Jesus did.
It has been a stressful and exhausting 15 months, and we all need some rest and renewal this summer. We’ll make some adjustments to our Sunday morning schedule again soon (watch your eNews for announcements about that!) and we’ll experiment with worship for all ages with a new outdoor, once-a-month gathering we’re calling PRAYground that’ll be rich with simple prayer, uplifting music, and space to move around! Our first PRAYground gathering will be Sun evening, July 11th. Let’s enjoy the chance to gather safely and enjoy laughing, praying, serving, and loving each other as our first priority this summer. We need the blessing of restored community! We need to see each other smile! And we need hugs! (If we are fully vaccinated, we can even hug now! Thanks be to God.)
Sam, Mike, and I will be away on vacation the last two weeks of July and we can’t wait to chase some fireflies, make s’mores around a campfire, do some hiking, and maybe go “tubing” down a quiet stream in the mountains. But I also can’t wait to begin the “imagination work” we’ll do together this fall! God has blessed us with an embarrassment of riches in the loving hearts of those who gather under the name of St. John’s; and I’m excited to see where this journey leads us next.
This comes with Love,