Source of life and blessing,
of garden, orchard, field:
root us in obedience to you
and nourish us by your ever-flowing Spirit
that, perceiving only the good we might do,
our lives may be fruitful,
our labor productive,
and our service useful,
in communion with one another
and Jesus, our brother. Amen.
It is time to exhale. Spring was packed this year: Easter, All-Parish Service Project, Ascension, Pentecost, Baptisms, Burials, Trinity Sunday.
And now, we enter the season the Church calls “Ordinary Time”. Our altar and pulpit and clergy will wear green just as our trees have donned their new green. The church will wear green until most of the autumn leaves have returned to the earth and we are ready to enter Advent again. This green time is when we have time to breathe and to reflect. It is a season of growing; our bodies and hearts nourished by longer days and warmer temperatures; with the hope that we will put down deeper roots yet again, in our faith.
We know your lives are still busy. So are ours. So is the life of the church. At the same time, we hope we all can tap into this green space and allow Christ to walk more closely with us and invite us into our own new season of growth and breath.
We know it is coming up on summer when some of you travel. We also will each travel several weeks this summer for vacation and to minister in a variety of other settings; Becky at the Episcopal Conference Center in Rhode Island and Nancy at the Episcopal Cottage in Chautauqua NY and Church of the Redeemer in Longport NJ. We hope that when you are in town, you will continue to gather with those of us who are here on behalf of the whole body to sing and pray, to engage the word and the sacraments in new and extraordinary ways.
During Sunday morning worship in this green time: we will pray the prayers of the people that contain more congregational participation (Form III); we will pray the Rite II Eucharistic prayer that celebrates creation from our ancestors to interstellar space (Prayer C), and the Rite I Eucharistic Prayer that is a little more down to earth (Prayer II). And beyond the confines and guidance of our Book of Common Prayer, we will go deeper into the gospels of Mark and then John, and the book of Samuel. We will drink more lemonade. There will be ice cream on the front porch, Word Walks for the kids, guest preachers and speakers, bike rides after church, an all-parish project as we welcome the children of St. Stephen’s for a day of fun at Trinity.
It is time to exhale. All the way. Rest in that quiet space. And then inhale and soak up all the wonder of summer as a member of the body of Christ on Elm Street.
Yours in Christ,
Nancy and Becky
Photo by Nancy J. Hagner