How will you grow during this summer?
Many people in this hemisphere tell time by the seasons of nature. Summer is a warm time of vacations, reunions, relaxing, and playing outside. The church year has a different way of telling time. In the liturgical calendar, time is measured by important events in the life of Jesus (like Christmas and Easter) or the church (like Pentecost). Coincidentally, the time after Pentecost up to Advent is known as “Ordinary Time.” There is also a short period of Ordinary Time after the Baptism of Our Lord in January until Ash Wednesday. In this way, the rhythm of the liturgical seasons reflects the rhythm of life —brief anniversary celebrations and periods of intensity intermingled with longer seasons of quiet growth and maturing.
Ordinary Time is counted and ordered by the numbers of Sundays that follow Pentecost (for example, you’ll notice Sunday bulletins this Sunday bear titles like “The 4th Sunday after Pentecost.” In winter we count the number of Sundays after Epiphany. During Ordinary Time the church is usually decorated in green, the color of hope and growth. Think plants and trees, gardens and parks, all showing signs of maturity and fecundity at this time. The lessons we will hear read in worship will invite us to go deep, to reach our roots down into the groundwater of our baptisms. The focus is on the life and ministry of Jesus and the church. We take this time to descend from the great mountain peaks of Easter and Christmas in order to “pasture” in the verdant meadows of tempus per annum—Ordinary Time.
How will you grow during this summer? I hope you will take some time to drink deeply of God’s good creation, whether in far off places or in your own back yard. Additionally, although Sunday School and Confirmation Classes take a hiatus for the summer, you are invited to nurture your faith at Trinity a variety of ways. Two guest preachers will be coming to Trinity in June, each with a unique viewpoint about God’s work in our world. On June 19, Rev. Dr. Carolyn Schneider, missionary in Hong Kong will preach, preside, and present what the Lutheran Church is doing in Hong Kong and China. Although it is the third Sunday of the month, we’re moving Global Worship in June to coincide with Rev. Schneider’s visit. The following week, Rev. Emily Tviete of Lutheran Campus Ministry at UW Madison will preach and preside, sharing how God’s love is communicated to and through college students in this area.
If you are older than confirmation age but younger than 30, I fear you’ve been neglected for too long in our community. For this reason, Trinity is partnering with Lake Edge Lutheran in establishing a Young Adult Group (let’s hope a new name will emerge). We’ve met once, and discovered there is a real interest in having regular casual gatherings of young adults who want to explore life’s big questions in the context of a spiritual environment (i.e., “What is the purpose of the Bible in our time?” “How do we make sense of other religions if we believe there’s only one God?” and similar topics). The group is in its baby stage of formation, but will meet next on June 22 at 7 pm at The Glass Nickel on Atwood Ave. Talk to Pastor Sue if you have questions.
People of any age who are interested in learning more about Trinity’s stained glass windows are invited to a series of reflections on them right after worship on July 10 and 17. If there is enough interest, we could also arrange to tour nearby churches with outstanding stained glass as well.
Trinity participates in a number of community events throughout the summer—we have a booth at Atwood Fest (talk to Kia Conrad or Eric Castleberg if you can help), MadCity Bazaar (1st and 3rd Saturdays till Sept.) uses our parking lot, and Bike and Build participants sleep and eat here in July. This year our building will also be the home of Kaleidescope, an art camp for children hosted by TapIt New Works for two weeks in July. We are grateful to be able to use our facility and our energy for people who are making the most of Ordinary Time. Bless you as you bloom and grow in God’s grace this summer!