Some thoughts I shared with parishioners in the current parish newsletter...
“Summer time is busy time.”
Even though the Christmas and Easter holiday seasons are behind us and school classes are largely over for the summer break, I am constantly amazed at how busy summer time can be. Gardening in the community garden, mowing lawns, working on building projects, and vacations never cease to end their constant drain on our precious summer time before the South Dakota winter returns all too soon.
Life in the church is not much better. Ironically, church leaders often are the last to heed the advice of our Saviour when he says, “Come unto me all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.” This month the triennial General Convention of the Episcopal Church will be in full swing in Anaheim, California. As one delegate to General Convention once told me upon his return, “It ain't for the faint of heart.” Trying to fit in three years of national church business into less than three weeks is a sure fire recipe for long days, flaring tempers, and general disillusionment when action or inaction is taken with which we do not agree.
Unfortunately, only the most controversial topics and resolutions are what most parishioners hear about once General Convention has ended. Naysayers within the church love to focus on those issues in which segments of the church disagree. What we lose sight of sometimes is the very good things God is doing in our midst through General Convention: reestablishing connections in other geographical places, funding of missions and outreach, but most of all remembering that we are all one family. We may not get along all the time nor agree on everything, but our mission is the same.
Thus, please pray for all delegates attending General Convention, both for strength and encouragement but also for the renewal of familial ties. We are all one body for we all share in the one bread and have more in common with each other than we sometimes realize in the heat of debate over this resolution or that proposal. We are called to share the love of Christ with the world, and as long as we continue to do that, God will lead us where we need to be as a church body.