This year my vacation included a “Gender Reveal” party for a new grandson due in December (although I’ve known the news for months!), celebration of my oldest grandson’s 21st birthday, a workshop on Racial Healing which I look forward to telling you about, the Smith Family Reunion, travel to a new city, precious time with family and friends, rest and renewal. I hope the summer also provided similar experiences for you or whatever makes you happy.  Such intentional Sabbath time helps us to clear out the day-to-day noise and replenish ourselves whether it is one day, a week, month, or even longer.
Noted author Wayne Muller writes, “The theology of Sabbath says, ‘Be still. Stop. There is no rush to get to the end, because we are never finished. Take time to rest, and eat, and drink, and be refreshed. And in the gentle rhythm of that refreshment, listen to the sound the heart makes as it speaks the quiet truth of what is needed.'”[1]
The truth my heart speaks is of love and gratitude for the wonderful people who touch my life, including you. It also speaks of the incredibly holy work entrusted to our care at this time and place. While it is challenging work, it is more necessary than ever and we are more than capable with God’s good grace to spur us on.
I am looking forward to being back in the pulpit this Sunday and seeing as many of our members and friends as possible. The following Sunday, September 8th, we will bless our children, students, and educators, praying their safety and openness to fresh learnings and new experiences. On Saturday, September 21st, we will hold the annual Homecoming Fundraising event, which I hope you will attend and support as you are able.
There is much more ahead, far more than any few of us can accomplish alone, but together we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. I am inspired by the possibilities and hope you are too!
Grace and peace,
Pastor Cathy

[1] Wayne Muller, Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest