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Pastor’s Article, August 2017

August.  Seriously, how is it AUGUST, already??

You may not feel this way, but if you do, I can tell you you’re not alone.

At Family Camp, just a few weeks ago, we sent the kids off with the counselors and had two blessed hours of adult conversation, which we used to talk about how we do and don’t practice Sabbath in our lives.

It turns out that most of us feel like we’re doing it wrong, if we even feel like we’re doing it at all.

That said, over the course of that Saturday morning, we shared all kinds of little everyday rituals we do in our families that help us to reconnect, as well as the things we do for ourselves that help us to rest and renew and pay attention to the still small voice of God in our midst.

We discovered that practices which function as sacred cows in one family are logistically impossible in the next (as though we didn’t know this already, but still).  We told stories of seemingly disposable habits in our own minds imprinting as unmovable, all-important traditions in the minds of our children. We spoke of learning to shrug off the guilt that too often accompanies the necessary practices of self-care.

We spoke of these dynamics as universal for all people and all household make-ups, though they clearly shift over time and with different people.

That time mattered for us, it seemed. (At one point I offered to end the session 20 minutes early, to give everyone a few minutes free, but everyone opted to stay.) Those two hours allowed us a bit of space to breathe, but to breathe in the presence of others who needed to do the same.

I don’t often talk about books in this column, unless we’re using one as the focus for a class or a sermon series. But along these lines, I cannot recommend highly enough the book Faithful Families by Traci Marie Smith. If you’re looking for ways to incorporate intentional ritual or traditions into your day to day, or to carve out Sabbath time, it won’t disappoint.

And whether you’re moved to read it or not, I’ll simply remind you (and myself, as well!) that Sabbath is both modeled by God and commanded by God. If that’s the case, it must be important, and I find it a relief, more often than not, to remember this.

Blessings for Sabbath time to each and every one of you,
Pastor Andrea

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