So, truth be told, I was a bit worried about attempting a 'stay-cation' living right next to the church and all...but it worked out really well.
I am happy to report that I only spent a minor fraction of it cleaning the house. It needed it though, after I had been busy with VBS, away at camp and then to the beach. Things at Trinity slow down, when? (Just kidding.) Ministry, just like life, keeps on happening. God is continually at work in the world.
I received glimpses of that this past week.
It was great to be able to catch up on sleep AND have time during the day for good workouts. I have officially begun training to run the Hartford 1/2 Marathon with my mom in October. I had time to map out my training schedule and get that started this week without having to get up too early! The true test will be getting the workouts in before a day in the life of Trinity. It is possible to do that....I know this, it will just be different post-staycation. Keeping active through exercising helps to keep my heart, mind, body and soul refreshed for being present for others. It was a pleasant surprise to run into some Trinity folk on the trail this past week and share some time and conversation as we ran.
I also had time this week just to sit on my porch and read and pray.
When I was in the call process here, it was Advent and I was honoring the tradition of praying the hours. I would take breaks in my day for Matins (morning prayer), noon time prayer, vespers (evening prayer) and Compline (prayer at the close of the day). It was very helpful for me, throughout Advent to take time to pray each day as the future of my life and call was uncertain. I also took time each day to pray for specific individuals or groups to remind me of the connection we all have in through baptism. I've taken time this past week to enter into the practice of praying the hours this past week. While I feel much more certain about my sense of call and my future than I did back in Advent, I still feel that it is important to take that time for daily prayer, to think, reflect and thank God for where I am at, and help for the future. I use the book The Divine Hours as my guide. I also add the upcoming Sunday's scripture readings as I pray.
I was also thankful for the opportunity to explore some of the attractions that Berks County and beyond have to offer.
I am also thankful for the opportunity to worship this morning. I headed into Reading and was nourished by the Word, prayer, song and fellowship at Christ Lutheran Glenside. I had the opportunity to connect with the pastor and the people there while I was on internship. It was great to worship, connect with colleagues and be reminded, again, how God is at work in the world. They just finished 8 weeks as a host site for a summer day camp program. They have been doing this for 19 years!
Yet at the same time, they are a group of people who celebrate joys, who share burdens, struggles and worries with one another. They are just like us at Trinity. The location may be different, but we are all connected through the waters of baptism, reminded of our own humanity and sinfulness and welcomed in...no matter who we are...no matter what we have been through....God continues to reach out and invite in the lost, the sick, the hurting, the tired, the busy...all are welcome at the table.
I'm thankful for the time away, but thankful to be back this week. To reconnect with the young and the old (and all those in between!) and to hear stories about where God has been active in your life and your community this summer.
I'm ready for a week with Music Camp, ABO, evening meetings and whatever else God has in store for the people of Trinity and our community this week.
I pray that as our community at Trinity has had the opportunity to travel this summer, we have all had the opportunity to see God at work in the world, and to bring back those stories and experiences to share them with others and allow them to empower the ministry that we do here.