Summer is here—but such a different summer from all the ones that have come before, as we continue to navigate our way through this pandemic! We tend to think of summer as time for slowing down a bit from the frenzied pace of life during the other seasons of the year, and summer is our quintessential vacation time. This year, our summer plans are necessarily being shaped by concerns about COVID-19. We are faced with decisions about health and safety and risk that were never before part of our consciousness.
I have spoken to a number of parishioners who are looking forward to time away with family in the next few weeks, often with some modifications for health reasons. My prayer for all of you is that you will indeed find some ways this summer to enjoy the rest and restoration that vacation time provides—even if you end up taking a “staycation” at home. God knows that all of us are weary and need some recreation (to be re-created!). And I am praying for all of you to stay safe and healthy.
John and I will be away from the afternoon of June 28 through July 11. For the first five days we will be in Natural Bridge, VA, with John’s sister’s family: Elizabeth, David, and their two sons, 9-year-old Matthew and 18-month-old Noah. We haven’t seen them in more than a year, and I can’t wait! We’ve been emailing back and forth about social distancing practices so that we are all on the same page when we are together. Then, from July 4 through 11, John and I will be at the diocesan cottage in Sandbridge, VA at St. Simon’s-by-the-Sea. We will lead the July 5th service (online? In person, with social distancing? Who knows?) and then spend the rest of the week enjoying the quiet peace of Sandbridge’s uncommercialized strip of beach.
Whatever kind of vacation time this summer holds for you, I pray that it will be restorative and will draw you ever closer to the God who created and adores you. I love this prayer from the BCP (pg 825) and am praying it for all of you:
O God, in the course of this busy life, give us times of refreshment and peace; and grant that we may so use our leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds, that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.