Happy Summer! Our June theme simplicity, and it feels appropriate after a full, active church year.
On my very first Sunday as your settled minister, I talked about summer. It seems there is a certain playfulness and freedom about this season of the year, and I love it. For many years, Unitarian Universalist churches were so caught up in the playfulness and freedom that they closed down for the summer months. Often, it was because members went to summer homes in the country or on extended vacations out of town. Over time, it just became a norm. Even when the majority of families didn’t leave town, the churches still closed.
Eventually, Unitarian Universalists realized, “We want church all year long. We need church all year long because walking together in the spirit of love is important to us. It’s one of our values, and actually, it’s the foundation of our faith.”
All summer long, our church will be a vibrant place where we grow spiritually, walk together, and open our hearts to the world.
That does not mean that our calendar needs to be packed with activities. Too much activity without its balance and best friend, receptivity, can impede us and our congregation. The concept of receptivity runs through classical spiritual texts. The Sabbath, for instance, is the deep knowing that humans need simplicity, and in the Jewish tradition, people protect one day each week for rest and enjoyment, for the purpose of paying attention to God and the goodness of creation.
I wonder if we could practice Sabbath his summer, where we focus on receptivity through simplicity. That doesn’t mean we just stop coming to church, rather we focus on receiving new insights as we renew ourselves. I will be talking more about this on June 5 during worship. After that service, at our annual Congregational Meeting, we will celebrate all our activity over the last year and then commit to renewing ourselves.