Happy August! Summer is my favorite time of year because it’s a chance to travel, reflect, and enjoy the gifts of life: time with friends and family, being outdoors with nature, and time to sit deep with a few good books.
I have been reading several wonderful new books in preparation for my sermons over the course of the year. An amazing biography about Crazy Horse, “The Lakota Warrior’s Life & Legacy” as told to William B. Matson, that’s unique because it was written with the permission of his family; an incredible Holocaust survival story by Edith Eger called “The Choice”; and now I’m reading the most recent comprehensive biography of Thoreau by Laura Dasso Walls.
I like having a break from writing sermons over the summer, because it means I can return to it with renewed enthusiasm. I’m especially grateful this summer to all of our Lay Preachers, who have devoted many hours preparing and delivering sermons on topics that are meaningful to them. It’s an excellent way for the congregation to get to know each other on a deeper level.
Our Chalice Circles program is another way we seek to provide this opportunity to get to know each other more deeply. Sign-ups begin this Sunday! This is a once-a-month commitment to be part of a facilitated small-group ministry program in which topics of spiritual significance are discussed in a safe and intimate environment. But you must commit to showing up to all eight meetings, barring an emergency or illness. This is how trust is developed so bonding and friendship can occur. We don’t generally ask much of our members and friends in terms of attendance (it’s a free country!) but this program is unique because we insist that consistent attendance is the heart of what makes the program work.
Can’t wait to return to the pulpit August 12, but you’ll enjoy Tim Fargo’s excellent sermon this Sunday.
– Rev. Hannah