Long Days, Warm Nights, and Ordinary Time
July is upon us and summertime is in full swing. Have you ever noticed how Summer feels? Not just the heat on your skin, the bright colors in your eyes, or the scents of grills, chlorine, fresh-cut grass, and sunshine in your nostrils; but how the idea of Summer itself feels when you know it’s coming and when it finally arrives. You could argue it’s because the school calendar shapes us so much in our formative years, but I think it goes deeper than that. Life is about cycles and rhythms. This is one of the few truths the ancients knew that’s not changed all too much over the centuries. Sure, the things we do through those cycles and rhythms are different- but the cycles and the rhythms themselves persist, as if they are meant to be. Think about our own yearly cycle: Fall is when we roll our sleeves up for another season of hard work, continuing through the long winter. Spring is much of the same except for the budding sense of anticipation and excitement for what comes next. When Summer finally comes it feels like liberation, like freedom and endless possibilities. Summertime is for family vacations, fireworks, cooking and eating outside, swimming, camping, boating, Hollywood blockbusters in cool movie theatres on hot days, baseball, fishing, golf, fairs and theme parks. It’s the time to soak in the sun that is all too elusive through the Winter. One could argue that part of what made enduring the Pandemic so hard was the sense of a lost Summer, where doing the right thing meant avoiding so much of what brings such Joy.
If you look at the Christian calendar you’ll also notice something about Summertime. By now Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost are behind us and the All Hallows/All Saints/All Souls celebrations that tie so closely with the themes of Harvest Time and Thanksgiving in the Fall are still far off. There are no major holidays through this stretch, just a long succession of weeks referred to, officially, as Ordinary Time. Those same cycles and rhythms we noted above persist in our community of faith and on the calendar we’ve inherited as part of that faith; again, as if they are meant to be. Through Fall, Winter, and Spring we do tough work of learning to wait patiently, celebrating light through the darkest weeks of the year, learning to see Jesus with clear eyes for all that he is, looking inside of ourselves and being honest about who we are and where we struggle, celebrating our salvation and the victory of God over all that is less than God, and going forth as the community of the Holy Spirit to continue spreading that good news and doing that good work, and then we enter into Ordinary Time. No High Holy Days on the grand scale of Christmas or Easter to look forward to, no great feasts or prolonged fasts to speak of through this stretch. Not even bright blues or reds or whites or purples to adorn the sanctuary, just green vestments and Ordinary Time.
So what do we do with our Ordinary Time? I propose this is the time meant for living, for
going out and putting into practice all that we’ve learned through the year so far. Look back again at where we’ve been - all that work and preparation since Fall. If we’ve engaged it well then we should be ready to live it out in real, Ordinary Time. Having been reminded of the foundations and the basic tenets of our Faith we are now sent out like true Disciples with good tidings of great Joy for the whole world. This is the ideal at least. Now, I know how easy it is to fall off of the ideal path, but take heart- God knows that too! The wonderful thing about Grace is that our inability to always live up to the ideal is factored in ahead of time. We know summer gets busy like every other season, so we know that living this out will be hit and miss. I hope we know that’s okay, too! Sometimes the best we can get from all that work of preparation is to be more mindful of the hits sprinkled in among our misses. Moments of summertime Joy come in flashes on this side of eternity. `Think about all of the best moments of all of your best Summers, did they not come but in flashes? And yet, is it not those flashes that make up a life? Those moments when, ever so briefly, time stands still, and something deep in your bones tells you that this is how it’s meant to be. In those moments we are changed, and in those moments our cycles and rhythms touch the cycles and rhythms of eternity and we come to realize that there is no such thing as Ordinary Time. Not really. All is part of eternity, all is precious, and everything is spiritual, every moment a Holy moment, every action an act of Faith. Those flashes, however brief, remind us of this truth.
All that is left is to ask yourself what you can do to truly live this Summer? What little
practices will help you soak in every moment and share the flashes of Joy you receive with those around you? How can you live into your extraordinary Faith through Ordinary Time?
A glimpse of eternity can always be right around the corner, watch for it this Summer. In the end, above all else, I pray you can remember these mysteries each day as you have a great Summer filled with the Joy of the Gospel, the Peace that passes all understanding, and the Love that overcomes all things.
God Bless, David Dickey
We are pleased to share that Margaret Diane Richards joined our congregation on Thursday June 24th and made a Confession of Faith in Jesus Christ followed by the Sacrament of Baptism! May God bless her and may we support Diane in her new way of life as a Christian disciple!
From Your Search Committee
Wes Morgan as board chair has appointed me (Donna Herring) as chair of the Search Team. Working with me will be Debbie Rinker, Ted Wurtz, Dan Roseboom, and Rita Scales. An organizational meeting will be held soon to review Pastor Bill's exit interview and to form a set of interview questions for our first zoom meeting with a candidate to follow shortly. I will be giving updates of the team's progress at frequent intervals. We will not be able to divulge personal information of any candidate but can offer where we are in the process of calling a new pastor. If you have any concerns for the future of our congregation I will welcome suggestions and would love to discuss your dreams. The search process is never easy but with God's help and the blessing and the prayers of the church, I am confident that we will be led by the Holy Spirit to the minister who best fits the current needs and future ministries of the church. Thank you in advance for your support and prayers.
In Christ's service, Donna Herring
Pittsboro Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
209. N. Meridian St.; PO Box 215
Pittsboro IN 46167—317-892-3245
Judy Parker, Secretary: Monday through Friday: 9:30 AM-3:00 PM
Kathy Kern, Musician
Rev. Donna Herring, Song Leader
Shirley Boles, Nursery Staff
“Demonstrating the Love of God”
Sunday Worship – 10:00 AM
(Fellowship time to follow)
How to Reach Us
at Pittsboro Christian Church
209 N Meridian St
PO Box 215
Pittsboro, IN 46167
Parking available on the west side of the building off of Meridian Street
across from Pittsboro Elementary School.