End of the Month


Yesterday was the last of the four Sunday’s I had off in a row. It’s the longest I’ve gone between sermons since 2001, so in a way it was much like a mini-sabbatical. In more ways, it was not. This was the strangest vacation I’ve ever had.

There wasn’t much to do. We weren’t going to travel with a two year old and, as Bump will not wear a mask 1, we didn’t really get “out” all the much. We took in a couple of parks, and would have done more had we not hit a few days of straight thunderstorms, and did a day down the shore. Bump also started swim lessons, which was a nice change of pace, but those go derailed when an employee at the swim club our teacher works at tested positive for CoVid-19. As we were having the lessons at a private pool, however, we were able to keep the swimming playdate with friends we trust. That was pretty much our social life, with the exception of drinks on the porch with our neighbors. I was able to do some decent photography, however, and that made me very glad. My time at the Red Dragon Canoe Club, photographing Neowise was, perhaps, my vacation highlight. D&D also continued, and that was much fun 2.

Bump, on the other hand, has had a blast. He has discovered the joys of hide and seek 3 and loves spending time with his older siblings. Walks are his favorite, and he could probably hear the light rail horn while an orchestra of leaf blowers played the Hallelujah Chorus 4. We have also discovered that Bump loves shaved ice, and that’s nice because we discovered a new shaved ice place not too far away. It gives us a nice ride in the car and puts some distance from the house.

But I don’t feel like I’ve been “off.” I was here, needs came up, and I was still busy on Sunday mornings 5. That’s not to say the church was a burden. Central did a phenomenal job while I was “off,” and our church council did a good job keeping people connected. I was especially grateful for the wayoru council reached out to some new pastoral concerns throughout July, and the way they kept me in the loop without making me feel like I wasn’t doing my job. I am spoiled with the way Central does life together. It’s just that, sometimes, you need space and that wasn’t something that was going to happen this Summer. My wife said it best, “You probably won’t feel relaxed until this is all over 6.”

So what’s up, now that I’m back? Far too much. The first thing I need to do is check in on the congregation to see how folks are doing, but after that comes the marathon. As August arrives my wife has to plan for school, whatever that looks like, and I need to start the conversation with what the next eight months or so are going to look like at Central 7. I’ve got a couple of ideas for some video series I can do with Central which might help us center down during this tumultuous time, and I’d like to find a way to do book and bible studies through youtube. I know a lot of churches are just going “zoom,” and Central will probably have to go with a paid account at some point, but I don’t like the way zoom tends to make people feel exhausted. My idea for a Bible study is to do several videos, which include a chat with someone who knows a bit about the book being studied and some “work out” material on which folks can chew, and then have a scheduled zoom for anyone who is interested. This will take a great deal of planning, of course, so I’ve been chewing on it for a couple of weeks. Book studies can run the same way, though in that case what I may do is have two or three people be in the conversation per week before opening it up to others. The good news is, because of both who I am and the work Central has done to have a digital footprint, we’re in a good position to pivot to this style. We may even enjoy it.

When I find time to do all this is another question, because when school starts we’ll be negotiating a whole new set of hurdles and time-rationing.

  1. And it’s borderline if it should, so we don’t push it. 
  2. We have an airship, I mean, come on, how cool is that
  3. Though he tells you where to hide, and then he walks around our room saying out loud all the places we could be. It’s adorable. 
  4. “Hear the train? Hear the train? Hear the train, Da da?” 
  5. Though being able to retreat into airconditioning was nice. 
  6. When it is “all over” I’m springing for a two hour massage and two weeks in Williamsburg. 
  7. I’ve starting pondering Advent and Christmas, to let you know where my head is.