Getting back to basics

Though we often associate summer with a break from school, in many ways I feel like this summer at St. Margaret’s has been a summer of going back to school. Quietly and steadily, we have all been working at getting back to basics. Certainly that has been happening in many of our personal lives this summer. Most of us have taken or will take vacation time. During this time of rest, we are getting back to the basics of life – slowing down, enjoying nature, having intimate time with family and friends, and basically reconnecting with all that is good and holy in our lives. Meanwhile, many of you are working through a spiritual wilderness – usually because there has been some tremendous transition in your life that pulled you away from God, but left you feeling God’s absence. For those of you in the wilderness, I see you taking time in prayer, reading, and talking to your peers – trying to learn how to reconnect with your Creator and Sustainer. And others of us are just enjoying a time to slow down and get back to a pace that allows us to reconnect with God – whether it is going for a walk, visiting our local beaches and gardens, or taking in a class or tour.

St. Margaret’s is getting back to basics on an institutional level as well. At least three committees are regrouping and doing some redefining and cleaning work. Our Vestry took a month off in July in the hopes of re-centering ourselves after our Mutual Ministry Review so that we might be reinvigorated for our work during the remainder of the year. The Vestry will be working with our committees in the fall to help them get back to basics, assessing what is working and what needs improvement. Our Stewardship Committee merged with our newly budding “Fundraising Committee” to combine efforts. Our Personnel Committee is revising our staff review process and cleaning up job descriptions. In some ways, this kind of work may not feel productive in the traditional sense. But I see us at work, buttressing our foundation, creating a stronger, healthier parish.

And St. Margaret’s is getting back to basics in other ways. Our newly formed Lunch Bunch has been a perfect example of what it means to get back to something St. Margaret’s has always been good at – fellowship. Fellowship may sound simple, but fellowship is at the heart of the Christian community. As I listened to those gathered in July, I heard people helping one parishioner problem-solve about her transportation needs. I sensed hearts warming as parishioners recalled stories from long ago. And I saw bonds strengthened as people shared their joys and concerns and found much commonality. The laughter, smiles, and pats of encouragement warmed my heart as I saw us deepening our bonds of Christian love. 

As we wrap up the summer, I invite you to prayerfully consider what parts of your spiritual foundation need buttressing. Is there something you have been meaning to do (get to Church more often, join a study group, or volunteer to teach Sunday School) but haven’t gotten around to? Is there some spiritual discipline you used to enjoy that you have let slip? Is there a hole in St. Margaret’s foundation that you hear God inviting you to fill? Hold these things in prayer as we approach the program year. As always, I am happy to talk to you about these musings, and I will hold you all in prayer as you listen deeply to the movement of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Christ’s Peace,

~ The Rev. Jennifer Andrews-Weckerly