I have a parishioner is quite passionate about football. Actually, I have several of those, but this one in particular schedules her meetings and plans around when a particular New York team will be playing. There is no negotiation involved, unless you are simply willing to meet without her. Not being a professional football fan myself, I do not entirely get it; but I find her resoluteness both amusing and oddly helpful.
Football season is not the only thing I find myself juggling these days. This past week, we returned to our full Sunday schedule at church. We went from a summer of one Sunday service and a leisurely coffee hour, to two Sunday services, a welcome back event in between, and a coffee hour afterwards. After that, I had a church meeting and went to the hospital to bring communion to a parishioner. There are times – usually around late May – when all I can think about is stepping into the slower Sundays of summer. But by early September, I am eager to get back to this crazy schedule.
I think part of me longs for the change because everything else is changing – schools are gearing back up, sports are beginning, and coolness is in the air. I also long for the change because the church feels more alive at this time. The busyness is not tiring yet, but invigorating. A summer’s worth of planning comes to fruition, and then the “so what?” begins. I love seeing how changes are received, what works, and what needs tweaking. I love seeing the pleasant surprise on people’s faces when a new change works out better than expected. And I love the collective wisdom about making things work.
This time of life reminds me of the first verse of the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Like the seasons of creation change, sports seasons change, so too the church changes seasons. I very much enjoyed the summer season in church these last few months. But now, I am looking forward to the possibility that this season, this time, has to offer. The possibilities are great, and my hopefulness is high. I hope you will join us in this season at St. Margaret’s to see what this season brings you.