Rector's Column June 2015

by The Rev. Dr. Jason L. Parkin, Rector 

                        And on the seventh day, God rested.

Life does not cease during the summer months. Many of our normal activities and obligations continue unabated. There are still places to go, things to do, people to see, responsibilities to discharge. Indeed, summer feels less like "summer" than it used to, in some strange but profound sense.

And yet, summer does afford many of us the chance to change rhythm a little bit. Whether it is the length of the days, the change in weather, or the easing of schedules, we have more of an opportunity during the summer to seek new ways of being reinvigorated and re-created. A few years ago, in these pages, I suggested a few ways to let God revive and restore each of us. Will you mind awfully if I do so again? Here goes--

Read a book that improves your mind. Read a book that nourishes your heart. Read abook that makes you laugh, and you will have covered the first two.

Catch a sunset. I know it's corny. You know it's corny. Who cares?

Join the group that prepares and serves dinner for about 100 people at A Just Harvest on June 20. Rediscover the meaning of the old adage that it is better to give than to receive.

Try singing harmony during the hymns this summer. St. Augustine famously said,
"Those who sing pray twice." Three times for those who sing the alto line.

Homer's. What more is there to say?

Ravinia. What more is there to say?

Sing your favorite song out loud-at the top of your lungs, actually-on a beach
somewhere.

Forget for an hour that no self-respecting Chicago area resident goes to Navy Pier. Go
anyway. Enjoy the tawdriness of it all. Go prepared to be surprised by the Stained Glass Museum. Rent a Segway.

When was the last time you read The Wind in the Willows or The Just-So Stories or
Winnie the Pooh? You're overdue, and you know it.

Bring a friend to Holy Comforter some Sunday, then go on an authentic picnic.

Go to a Cubs game. Point to the field during the third inning and ask the guy next to
you, "Now, which one is the quarterback?"

Maybe even better, go to a minor league baseball game. More fun than you will expect.

You have your choice between the Kane County Cougars, the Joliet Slammers (get it?), the Windy City Thunderbolts, the Gary SouthShore RailCats and the Schaumburg Boomers. Seriously.

Dust off the Frisbee in the closet or garage. Give it a whirl. Learn to catch behind your
back.

See a show at any of the superb smaller live theaters in the city or suburbs. New York
ain't got nothing on the Chicago drama scene.

Take a seven-year-old to lunch. Borrow a friend's, if necessary.

Take an 87-year-old aunt to lunch. Borrow a friend's, if necessary.

Once-but just once-go to a church very different from Holy Comforter. Tell me
about it when you get back.

If a friend or relative comes to town, take them to the top of the Hancock. Yes, it's a
cliché, but so what? (And when was the last time you went there, anyway?)
Enjoy their awed remarks.

And every day-at home, on vacation, walking to work, at Holy Comforter, at
Mariano's-give thanks to God for all that is lovely and true and gracious and
holy.

And may God renew your spirit with God's Spirit---