The month of June is finally upon us. June means that school is out for the summer. Pools all around are open. Gardens are being worked upon. Many of us get our children involved in all sorts of camps, either locally or at some distance away. Several of our youth will be attending Procter this summer, and I couldn’t be more excited for them as they will explore their faith in such a fun and spiritual setting. Pat Brack is serving as a Procter Camp Counselor this summer! Many in our parish enjoy a week or more away traveling to beaches, mountains, or far away lands. Summer is undoubtedly one of my favorite seasons with the warmer weather and a bit of a slower schedule.
Ascension & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church remains open in the summer months. We adjust things a bit, but there are still plenty of ministries occurring over the summer months, especially worship. June 3rd marks our changeover to the summer worship schedule with our 8:00 service adjusting to 8:30 outdoor worship on the Gathering Place; 10:00 will still worship at 10:00 indoors. If the weather is wet, then we will have our 8:30 service in the Assembly Room and Parish Library areas. For many, the 8:30 service is an ideal time to invite a friend or co-worker to try out our style of worship. This is so because the 8:30 liturgy is super laid back. We do not schedule any readers or acolytes or Eucharistic Ministers for the 8:30 worship, but rather, we ask for volunteers. Rather than a full-on sermon, the 8:30 congregation appreciates a taste of what the 10:00 sermon is about, and then we have a dialogue for about 8-10 minutes on the sermon topic. Holy Eucharistic is served in the round from person to person. You simply have to try the 8:30 worship to fully experience. And yes, I realize the outdoor service is not everyone’s cup of tea, but a lot of folks sure seem to enjoy it.
Connor Wilkinson is busy preparing Children’s Chapel for the summer months. Additionally, Connor will be having conversations with our youth, their parents, and current Sunday School teachers. Plus, he will be working on curriculum for the autumn, as well as inviting folks to serve as Sunday School teachers.
Ted Gibboney is offering a summer choir. We have had summer choir the last several summers; however, rather than offering summer choir three or so Sundays over the summer, Ted will be offering summer choir each Sunday. Naturally, some of our chancel choir from the program year may want some time to simply sit in a pew, and this is quite all right and perfectly expected. It is always good to make a joyful noise, though, and this more consistent summer choir will give folks an opportunity to sing all throughout.
We will continue needing acolytes, ushers, altar guild, Eucharistic Ministers, lectors, lemonade leaders, and so forth. Please avail yourselves to our “signup genius” site, or simply let me or Sarah Cotterill (firstname.lastname@example.org) serve, and we will get you squared away. My point is that even though things slow down a bit during the summer, I would still love to have you with us for worship. I take some time away in the summer, as well, but I still find that I need my faith community to help me on my walk with Christ, even in the summer. Whether you attend the 8:30 or the 10:00 worship you are welcome just as you are. Long gone are the days when men wore suits and ladies wore dresses (you are more than welcome to dress to that style if you like, though). Come to worship in your gardening clothes, your golf attire, your camp gear, just please join us for worship. We are not the same loving church without you with us. And, feel free to attend worship while you are away, then share with us about your different worship experiences.
Summer will be here and gone before we know it. Make every last bit of it count to the fullest, and my hope is that you consider being an active part of your church a vital part of making your summer count. Love and light to you and to yours!
Eric L. Miller+