It is Summer and our focus turns to warmer weather (after the somewhat brisk Spring); hosting fami-ly and friends who get rejuvenated by a Cape vacation; breathing in the fresh salt air; beholding all of God’s creation in trees and flowers fully in bloom and the animal kingdom raising the next genera-tion; and, of course, no left turns!
Summer is also the time when we take seriously God’s commandment to enjoy “Sabbath” time – to rest and get refreshed. Yes, it is okay to relax and have fun time! Yes, it is okay just to read and contemplate. Perhaps you may wish to read and reflect upon the Mary Oliver poem, “The Summer Day”, which is printed in this Parish Visitor.
And yet, even in summer, we are invited to bear witness to the fullness of life: We grieve the loss of our beloved Rev. Dr. Phil Mitchell – pillar of this church, whose love for God and Christ infused all the ways he was instrumental in making the church and the world vibrant and beautiful. We will gather to celebrate his life on Saturday, July 7 at 2:00 pm.
We encounter a national humanitarian crisis in the separation of children from parents at the border between Texas and Mexico. We hear that the Bible is invoked to justify this grossly immoral policy. And yet, Jesus tells us “suffer unto me the little children, for to such belong the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:14); and throughout the Hebrew Bible and our Christian Scriptures we are clearly commanded by God to care for the poor, the widow, the downtrodden, the oppressed, the orphans, the children. As people of faith, how can we not be outraged at such national policies?
And we are invited to be church – to prepare for our Annual Church Fair on August 1 – 2 (not a lot of rest there for all of you who are working so hard to make it successful!); and to join in the worship and praise of God every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Our guest preachers will include Stephanie Ellis, Ex-ecutive Director of Wild Care (July 8) and Jim Bampos, Christian Motivational Speaker (Aug 5). We also will hear from the Revs. Russ Allen, Rod MacDonald, Deb Mahaney, and Judy Thomas.
Yes, it is summer, but we still are doing the work of church; we are still living the life of faith. The contemporary spiritual writer Richard Rohr grounds his thinking in the concept of Imago Dei. This is a Latin phrase which means “image of God.” Rohr writes, “we can incarnate love in our unique con-text by unveiling the image and likeness of God in all that we see and do.” This summer, I invite us all to see the image of God in everyone we meet – vacationers getting their frozen hot chocolates at the Sparrow; vacationers who are creating slow traffic on Main Street; J-1 students at the check-out counters in the many stores we frequent; your children and grandchildren; the residents at Terraces and Pleasant Bay; your church friends; and even those whom we do not see or know around the world, such as the beloved ones – the migrants at the border.
You were made in the image of God. God’s beautiful divine spirit is within you. Anything and any-one made in the image of God, is intended to be loved and cherished. This summer – and always – may we see the image of God in each other, in God’s wonderful created earth, and in every human being God has made.
Love and blessings,