If you've read my Facebook posts you'll know that I've been struggling with something. I've served congregations in the northeast where church begins on the Sunday after Labor Day and ends for the summer usually the third week of June. You can count on it. The congregation gathers in September and goes on their way in June. It never changes. Some congregations have summer services but they are usually quite small and held in different places.
Our congregation is quite different. I'm not struggling with year-round services. We should be ready every Sunday for whoever walks through our doors. It's more of the snowbird situation I'm struggling with. In April members and friends start to migrate north, some not returning as late as November. I prefer that we stay together all of the time. I have an innate urge to herd and keep track of each of you. I need to know where you are and what is happening in your lives. I can't do that with these migration patterns.
That's my struggle. I miss each of you, even when you miss a single Sunday. Believe it or not I can feel an absence because each of you add something to the collective and it is noticeable when you're not here. This isn't a guilt trip! It's an admission of a struggle that I'll simply need to accept. The truth is I'm glad that we all take time to be with our families, travel, and rest in cooler climates. We are asked to step up to do the work of the Congregation most of the time. It is good to sit back at this time. The care we provide to ourselves and for one another is indeed a spiritual practice. Rest need not be earned, although you have earned it. We've had a busy and wonderful church year together. Rest is a practice.
I, too, will be traveling this summer. I'll soon be leaving for Rhode Island for our General Assembly and then to the Adirondacks, then Montreal, to Minnesota for UUA work, and back to Florida in mid August. I will keep in touch and let you know where I am and how I'm faring. Please do the same.
As we live in our temporary diaspora may you enjoy all that this season brings. Be well. Be safe. I'll be waiting and watching for your return!
Blessings, Rev. CJ