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Sunday, July 2, 2017

Summertime.

I am reminded of the song: “Summertime and the living is easy, Fish are jumping and the cotton is high…”

Summer is a time we look forward to because of seasonable weather; but also because for many, it is a little easier. Maybe a time to slow down, and enjoy unstructured time with family and friends, take in a ball game, play a round of golf, go camping or hiking. I used to carry in my car, at all times, all the things I might need for a picnic - because you never know when the need for a picnic may present itself! Perhaps I should resurrect that practice.

Your church staff and volunteers are busy preparing for Vacation Bible School, or participating with our kids in the Royal School of Church Music summer training program, and planning out our coming program year. In some ways it does not seem that things have yet slowed down much at the church.

Nonetheless, in the church calendar, this time between Pentecost and the first Sunday of Advent is called “Ordinary Time” It is called this because there are no major feast days during this time and no particular focus (such as repentance or waiting) for this part of the church year. The liturgical color for ordinary time is green which suggests verdant growth and abundance. It is a time to be grateful. It is also a time to think about where we are in our spiritual life. What is a practice that we could begin at this time that would sustain and nurture us in the times we are more busy and distracted? Perhaps you could read a spiritual book, or begin the practice of giving thanks each morning as you begin your day. Come to the 8am Sunday worship service and enjoy the quiet contemplative nature of this early morning service, and the loveliness of the morning light coming through our beautiful stained glass windows. Begin a regular practice of prayer and reading scripture. Take the time to breathe in and breathe out. Take time to consider the lilies of the field.

Borrowing from Bishop Rickel and also from the Benedictine tradition, you could do mundane tasks, like mowing the lawn or gardening, cleaning or doing dishes with intention. Make each mundane task a prayer. As the Rule of St Benedict urges, “do ordinary things extraordinarily well”. In this way, offer each task to God as a prayer. Recognize God’s love in the beauty that surrounds us in our natural world and take steps to honor it by preservation, conservation, and leaving no trace.

Let the church help you spiritually by marking the days and seasons of your life. And in this ordinary time, bless you with grace, peace and love.

Marlene +