Life tends to slow down in the summer. Children are home from school, and families go on vacation. Plant life reaches a bit of a plateau after the frenzy of blooming. Certain animals slow down a bit after the spring season. Churches sometimes see a reduction in attendance, and cut some programs accordingly.
Part of this is natural and good. Life needs to slow down a bit after the springtime burst of energy. Children need to give their minds a break, and we sometimes need a break from programs in an overprogrammed society. I, for one, am a little relieved to attend fewer meetings during the summer.
But summer is also a time of growth, and that can hold true for our souls, as well as for the plants. We can use time when we are doing less in the world to do more with God. Rather than plan more structured activity, we might find the time to take a walk on the beach and pray. We might find the time to finally read that book that has long been on our list. We might find more time to spend with our families, travelling or at home. Perhaps this summer will provide a time for many extended families to finally reconnect after the past 18 months. What opportunities does this summer offer for your soul? What about for your family or our church?
As I said, many parishes see a drop in attendance during the summer, and that is understandable as people travel. But how could we grow spiritually, in order for us to grow numerically? What kind soul-searching could we do in order for us to understand more deeply who we are, and who God is calling us to be? This summer may give some of us a break from work, including some parts of the work of our church, but that does not mean a break from Jesus. It means rather to grow deeper in his love. If you would like some help in finding ways to do that, I would be happy to talk with you further.
I can feel that we are just upon the cusp of something new. We will be moving to one combined service for the summer, and hoping to reopen the chapels soon. I have been here almost a year now, and can feel us turning a corner in the life of our church. The beauty is that I have no idea what that will look like. Right now, it will not look like more programming, but rather a temporary stepping back from some of our usual work in order to let God work in us. I cannot wait to see what He will do.
“So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” -1 Corinthians 3:7