Welcome to Summer!

| June 11th, 2023

Dear Beloved Community,

Welcome to summer! My family toasted the end of the school year and beginning of the summer with several days away camping this week. (Which is why this email is a bit delayed too!) If my family is any evidence, I remain convinced that time in the pool and the creek, time with a thick novel and a handful of seeds or rocks or tadpoles, time with a new hobby or simple delight, all allow for a mellowing of our experience of time itself. Summer gives us room to relax our minds and schedules away from regular rhythms — as lovely as they are — and to turn instead toward the curiosities that emerge when days are longer, slower, warming into what might be.  

In the life of our church, summer rhythms give us that space to shift a bit. Committees and teams meet less frequently. Big initiatives of the church shift into a slower mode. We enjoy time together simply to play, to fellowship, to wonder. 

Today begins the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, a long and verdant season of growth after the high, holy experiences of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. Ordinary Time reminds us of God’s presence equally in the ordinary as the extraordinary, and of our invitation to be attentive to that truth.

Several opportunities start today for you to find meaning in this season!

Our two Summer Sunday School classes begin — one (“Summer Conversations”) that will track with our worship scriptures through Genesis this summer, led by the capable and creative Conversations Class (Chris Gambill, Joy Gambill, Ka’thy Gore Chappell, Joani Hughes, and David Hughes lead this group. Another (“Topics in Faith”) will offer a variety of themes for rich learning and conversation. Today’s class will be led by David Hughes on “Sabbath as Lifeline for Burnout”; what better way to begin your summer than with a deep dive into sabbath practices!

I’ll start my preaching series through Genesis this summer, illuminating the story of God that emerges through creation. Despite what you may have heard, it’s a story inherently about goodness, of a good God among good creation. 

Tonight, we’ll bring our favorite side dish or dessert for a good Baptist picnic — because what’s the fun in being Baptists if not for pot luck suppers! Our Hospitality Ministry Team is so excited to welcome you all out to Leinbach Park for the gathering; hope to see you there at 5pm!

Read more in the first of our slimmed-down summer newsletters we’ll call “This Week at First.” 

Here’s to summer’s delights and sharing them together!

Together in God’s work of Love,

Pastor Emily