I hope you have all had as meaningful a summer as I have.
I am back from a fascinating trip to Transylvania to visit our Partner Church in Desfalva. Eight of us from Belmont went, accompanied by Livia’s uncle. Those of us who went will prepare some kind of presentation for the congregation at a later date.
In past summers I have occasionally felt that I had let the summer slip by without using it for anything different, renewing or invigorating. Not so this year.
I believe that summer is meant for exactly that—renewal and invigoration, both of which come more easily from doing something different than from continuing to do the same activities in the same ways.
Now there is something to ritual, to doing things that we know our ancestors or predecessors have done for centuries, that gives a sense of place and of purpose and belonging. Still, stepping out of our usual lives into something previously unknown is one of the best ways I know to gain new perspective on life and appreciation for what it is that we have—or do not have.
Finding the balance in this intertwining of the known with the unknown, of the familiar with the new, is an interesting dance. I was delighted to journey to new areas of the world, but also was delighted to arrive home, to reenter into the normal routine of things. And for this trip I think I was away just long enough. I was ready to come home. Finding that proper balance in one’s life is important.
Finding the same balance in congregational life is important as well. How much to keep the same? Enough to hold on to the important parts of our heritage and tradition. How much to make new? Enough to keep from being staid and stale. In the dance we do to find the right balance, it is important to be graceful and forgiving.
Note: please remember to bring water to the opening service on September 12.