We now find ourselves in the liturgical season of the church deemed “ordinary time.” This word, ordinary, might signal to you: regular (boring?). But if we go to the Latin roots, we find a deeper meaning: regular, as in ruled, ordered. I don’t know about you, but in the ever evolving phases of our pandemic (endemic?), in our country that seems incapable of making reasonable, nonpartisan, and common sense changes to stop the chaos of gun violence, some order sounds pretty good to me. (And this from your priest, the once rebel child, whose favorite word was “No!”).
We have been ordering our lives for summer and our tiny church’s season of Concerts on the Hills.
But I believe we are invited, with even more urgency, to tidy up our spiritual lives. Once again, this Ordinary time, without the disciplines of the preparatory seasons of Lent (or Advent), I find myself needing, wanting, reminding myself to find daily ways simply to ‘sit your butt on your prayer chair, Ally.’ It’s amazing what happens when we pause in stillness with God-whether meditating, conversing about our day and our hopes, fears, and gratitudes, imagining ourselves with God, or reading scriptures. If you haven’t tried out a regular practice lately, perhaps now’s the time.
On Sundays in Ordinary time, we hear in our lessons of the life and teachings of Jesus, the prophets, and of those apostles who sought to follow God’s saving way. Our worship this summer, then, offers guides, companions, and supports as we seek to put God where God belongs in our lives: as ruler, orderer, teacher, creator, comforter, sustainer, and truest friend.
When we order our spiritual lives, we are better equipped to order our lives generally, and in all these pursuits of “ordinary time,” we are encouraged to (re)-consider the use of our time, treasure, and talents. To what extent are we, you, I ordering our lives according to God’s purposes? If we can’t quite muster a robust response, then, this time provides an opportunity to consider new ways or to revitalize old ways of living out our days with God at our helm.
Your church and its leaders have been seeking to order our activities accordingly. Even as we continue to need to raise funds for our day to day operations as a church (stay tuned in our next newsletter for updates and announcements of fun events towards these ends), we have sought to walk in the ways of our Baptismal Covenant that asks each and all to “seek and serve Christ in all persons” and “strive for justice and peace among all people”:
Your Concert on the Hill committee with the full support of the Vestry (and even a generous matching donation to the church from within that body) dedicated our first concert to Juneteenth, allotting 40% of our ticket sales to support the Bridgeport NAACP, which along with additional donations will bring over $450 to their efforts for racial justice. I published the final piece in our 9-part series investigating our local history of racial injustice. Please consider ways to strive for racial justice in your own life!
This Sunday’s Concert on the Hill (6/26) is part of Easton Pride, celebrating all of God’s children and especially those who identify as LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and others) who in a climate of hate need our love. Please come out to support!
A few among us have been volunteering regularly at Nourish Bridgeport, and on Thursday July 7 from 5-7pm we will be volunteering again as Christ Church (sign up HERE), packaging food and delivering pre-packaged meals. Please sign up now! We are also hosting a diaper drive next month (see below).
Your Senior Warden and Priest joined the delegation of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut to the Poor People's Assembly in Washington, DC on June 18th, several parishioners marched on June 11th against gun violence in Newtown CT, and many of us were present for the raising of the Pride Flag at Easton Town Hall on June 1st. .
So it turns out, if we live into the truest spirit of this ordinary time, our collective lives won’t be ordinary (or boring!) at all. I pray with Paul this summertime that God “grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through the Spirit and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.” We are assured that when we order our lives this way, “the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3: 16-17, 20). Amen.