Dearest St. Mark’s family,
I hope that this week finds you healthy and connected! When I was a kid, one of my neighbors always greeted me in the summer with a hearty “Hot enough for ya?” when I got home in the evenings after a day on the farm. I think of him often in the dog days of summer, and I’m grateful the question still gives me a smile. And yes, it is most definitely hot enough for most creatures, I think.
Summer is always a wonderful time for anticipation and relaxation, and I hope that in these unusual times, you are able to have healthy doses of both. Anticipation can often give way to anxiety if it isn’t for the relaxation side of the equation. So make sure to find some time to “chill out” when it gets too hot- literally and metaphorically!
I’m always grateful when people ask how I am taking care of myself. I find that to be a really beautiful question in the repertoire of friendship. So for today, I wonder if we, as a parish, can ask each other… How are you taking care of yourself? I want to encourage you to reach out to your friends and loved ones and ask the very real question… How are you? Are you taking care of yourself? Imagine the wonderful fruit that will come from asking that question of our loved ones and then patiently anticipating the answers that may come.
In these days of unusual life together and apart, I think there is an increased need for the vocation of friendship. Not just the Facebook variety, although I’m super grateful for that medium these days (and yes, I know how that shocks some people to see me write that sentence). I have always believed that holy friendship is part of the vocation of the church, and we are responsible for nurturing that vocation on a daily basis.
So how can we live more deeply as friends linked by Christ? Maybe it is anticipating a need for a friend or just relaxing on the socially distanced front porch. Maybe it’s a phone call or a text message, or a Facebook wave that just lets your “friends” know that you are there. I wonder what our week would look like if we practiced closing the distance between us through the wizardry of cell phones and social media?
Summer is a good time to ask questions of our neighbors that are silly and superfluous on the surface because underneath is the true desire that we all have - our need to be connected.
Hot enough for ya, neighbor? You better believe it.
And while you’re at it… remind someone that you love them. And remember, you are loved!
This week we continue to gather online at 8 am and 11 am. Why not invite your friends?