As graduations, school terms, and May flowers come to an end, summertime is just around the corner. Summer is often a time to refresh and renew through vacations or working on the lawn and garden, or even just walking on trails in the woods and fields. It’s an opportunity to give thanks for God’s creation and our place in it.
The grace of God provides our time, talent, and treasure, sometimes providing much, sometimes less, but we’re to regularly take stock of those abundant resources, even though, to some, those resources never seem to be enough. When they never seem to be enough, then we’re ignoring the grace of God. In the different times of our life, there are ups and downs, increases and decreases in our talents, changes in the talents for which we have ministry.
Summer is also a time to examine our support for the community. This change of season can free us up for additional time to serve our community in ways that our body, mind and spirit can be fulfilled, and at the same time follow Jesus Christ’s teachings to support those in need. There are many ways in which you can support those needs, some are open to you from within the church, others through direct contact to see how you, with the resources God has given you, can serve those others.
The faith life of almost all religions see the changing of the seasons to be a time to renew and grow our assistance to people who are hungry, who lack safe shelter, who don’t have appropriate access to health care. They too, or they especially, feel the bite of rising inflation. In this time of vacations, lawn and garden work, and walking the trails through God’s nature, how do we see our faith being lived out? There are many groups inside and outside our churches that can help us connect to people in need.
This coming Sunday the churches of western Christianity will be celebrating Pentecost, the coming down of the Holy Spirit as helper and mediator on the 50th day after Easter, to encourage and inspire (take in a new breath) us with the spirit of God. Christians in general are enabled for ministry by their baptism into the church. If you’re baptized, you’re able to step out in ministry and mission. The power of the Holy Spirit supports you, helps you, to identify how God is calling you to your ministries and missions. Then in community with other Christians and other people of faith, you can step forward in confidence that you are following Christ’s call to each of us to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
This is a lifelong call to our faith in God, faith in that higher power, and the summer season can be a time for change, a time for growth.
The Rev. David Kendall-Sperry is the rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 45 W. Winter St., Delaware, and can be reached at 740-369-3175. He’s a member of the Delaware Ministerial Association and a life member of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, an Episcopal ministry to men and boys. He’s married and has three adult children and two grandchildren.