I feel so close to you, and a little far away. I'm still right next door, haven't missed a Sunday in church, and yet all the sturm und drang has put a lot of distance between me and the everydayness of church. I know it's just the way of things right now, and my focus is where it needs to be, and where it needs to stay for a while, but I just want to say: I miss you.
While we continue to look for a supply pastor who will work with me and guide our church with a strong hand during my chemo treatment, we don't have to wait for a strong thread to hold us together this summer. This Sunday we're wrapping up our sermon series on Pride (I get to preach! and we'll be confirming Josh, and saying goodbye to Joe--lots doing this Sunday, and a Friday email is forthcoming about that).
But next Sunday, June 20, we'll be starting a 12-week summer series based loosely on the Barbara Brown Taylor book, "An Altar in the World." It's a wonderful little book of essays, to be read in any order, about how God can drop a ladder down anywhere, not just in church (of course, numerous previous appearances at FCS make going to church in our community if not a sure thing, at least a good bet, so don't let her dissuade you from traditional methods of seeking the divine :).
Each week through Labor Day, the preacher du jour will look at a different spiritual practice suggested by the book: Incarnation, Wilderness, Sabbath, Breakthrough, Physical Labor, et alia. You can read ahead--alone or in a group. Two copies are left in the church office, $10 each, help yourself. Or buy it from Amazon, or your local bookstore. Or wait for Jamie to print a copy of the following week's chapter, and pick it up on the way into church the Sunday before. I promise you--it's a good, easy read. Lots of dogeared pages in my copy. Lots of wisdom and epiphany. And it will be yet one more tie that binds us together.
Below is the rough order in which the series will likely be preached.
June 20: Vision: The Practice of Waking up to God.
June 27: Reverence: The Practice of Paying Attention.
July 4: Groundedness: The practice of walking on the earth.
July 11: Wilderness: The Practice of Getting Lost.
July 18: Molly Preach: Incarnation: The Practice of Wearing Skin.
July 25: Sabbath: The Practice of Saying No.
August 1: The Practice of Carrying Water. Communion.
August 8: Prayer: The Practice of Being Present to God.
August 15: Breakthrough: The Practice of Feeling Pain.
August 22: Community: The practice of encountering others.
August 29: Benediction: The practice of pronouncing blessings.
September 5: Vocation: the practice of living with purpose.