Time Out for Many Blessings
OK. There's no question the blessings are of many sorts. I hope and trust such blessings abound in your lives. Sunday and Monday were such days of remarkable blessing out here by the waters.
In the village / town of Lewes where the bay meets the big waters, Sunday was the blessing of the fleet. Clergy of St. Peter's Episcopal Church were asked to do the blessing this year and it was done with good prayers and good camaraderie. Among the fire boats, pilot boats, Coast Guard boats, Sea Cadet boats, cruse boats, and what all was the AMITY. Here she is with flags flying. I'm in the shadows of the cabin, at the helm.
The Rector of all Lewes, Fr. Jeff Ross, blessed AMITY the other boats in the line.
I learned a few new tricks: It is hard to stay in formation with twenty other boats at close range, particularly with a one cylinder diesel engine with a wicked back spin when it is put in reverse. But we did all right.
So, there's a small blessing, but a fine one. Bigger blessings were all over the place. The St Peter's Youth group, (SPY) is having two trips this summer, one for the younger group to West Virginia for a work project, the other for the older group to Navajoland for a pilgrimage. We met Sunday morning to discuss some of the finer points of camping and put together "working teams" to cover our life together on these trips.
These young people are a blessing. They are becoming a community among themselves and they contribute to the larger church community as well. They are acolytes, readers, chalice bearers, members of the WAM (Worship with Alternative Music) band, and are involved in lots of local community outreach and activities. One of our hopes for the two mission trips is that they will also have some time to stand back from all the activities of young people, activities that almost swamp them with scheduling, and concentrate on doing just a few things, and doing them together. We hope to be a praying, working and playing community doing fewer things with greater reflection. The mission service/ pilgrimage trips will be a needed time for spiritual and personal renewal. At least that is our hope. And the hope begins with the young people themselves. They are a gift.
So blessings abound. Not only that, our son and his wife and two children are returning from six years in Germany and settling in Boston. It is wonderful to have family nearer at hand! I am always amazed to see how much better they are at being parents than I felt I was, and how much more collected they seem to be as human beings that I seem to be at any time. Perhaps it is only the perspective of having missed them and knowing how wonderful they are but I can't help feeling that they are part of the hope for the present and future both. They got home safely.
To round it all off, yesterday (Monday) Kathryn and I joined thirty people, including four couples, on a bus to Washington, where the four couples, two pairs of men and two pairs of women, were married officially and legally and decently and in order, and with great joy and celebration. We were met at the Judge's home by another thirty people and together we made a wonderful community of witness. The couples are all members of St. Peter's in Lewes and the unions have been of amazing duration, from twenty-five to thirty-five years. They have kept the faith with each other and with the church and now the society could begin to keep faith with them. Fr. Jeff was there to bless the newly married couples and I was honored to be asked to bless the rings they exchanged. It was a first rate excellent and wonderful day. There were tears of joy and moments of laughter, all the stuff of wedding days, and delight by all.
Getting home last night we received word that Matthew and Kellee (son and wife) went to settlement on a house in the Boston area. All went well.
For these and all God's many blessings, may God's Holy Name be praised.
It puts all this church stuff in perspective: We may grouse and grumble, moan and mumble, about the church and such, but we need to do so from the perspective of life and love, commitment and grace. Otherwise, it is just the mutterings of grey souls stuck in forgetfulness.
Find the blessings and remember them.