Here in Nashville, we are fast approaching summer. The thermometer hit 80 degrees today and the sun is out! Thankfully the humidity is low and there is a nice breeze, so it is an almost perfect day. Just a wee bit hot for me for this early! In the South, schools get out in May (verses June) so students are in the midst of exams and graduations are on the horizon…both online and in person depending upon the school. It feels like 2021 is flying by!
Maybe you are not quite ready to think of summer. Maybe you are still reeling from this past year and all the emotions it has brought to us. I was saying at thinplaceNASHVILLE on Tuesday night, that like the disciples, we are waiting. The disciples have gone back to Jerusalem to wait for the promised Holy Spirit. They know the Comforter is coming, they just don’t know exactly when. So they pray and wait together. We are all waiting for vaccinations and for those shots/jabs to be “live.” We are holding our breaths to see if our friends and neighbors will get vaccinated too. We are all waiting to see if we really can have a more normal summer this year.
When you think of Summer, what comes to mind?
What are the sights, sounds, smells, tastes of summer? What are the memories of summer that make you smile? Spend time thanking God for these things!
What do you wish your summer could look like? What would a perfect summer be for you?
Where would you like your relationship with Jesus to be by the fall?
What if you and your community had a plan to intentionally grow closer to Jesus this summer?
What if you could open a gift each week… like the gift of rest, or the gift of play, or the gift of gratitude?
We created the Gift of a Sacred Summer just for you!
It’s a downloadable kit which features a 5 minute and 15 minute practice for each Gift of Summer, going deeper activities, and journaling questions that you can do on your own or with your family and friends. There are coloring sheets to use with each gift, liturgies, discussion questions, and social media graphics for churches and youth groups to use.
THE GIFTS are: Silence, Rest, Gratitude, Nature, Justice, Love, Play, Create and a bonus week on Grief to help us all process this past year.
You can do a few weeks or all of them! They aren’t in a certain order, so you can create what works for you and your family/church’s schedule. My good friends and FreerangeWorship teammates, Joanna Cummings and Edward Goode, both pastors, helped write the gifts and we are all excited to see how people “open” them this summer!
And we have another GIFT to open this summer… A RETREAT!
Christine Sine and I are offering to help you get your summer off to a great start with MAKING TIME FOR A SACRED SUMMER! We will consider how we can be intentional this summer, create a Sacred Summer Centerpiece, Sacred Space, Travel Kit, or a Prayer Collage and share our summer memories too! Sign up and join us JUNE 5th! You can create a picnic and invite a friend to join you!
So consider how you want to draw closer to Jesus in the weeks ahead… What are the things that help you connect with God? What are the distractions that you want to avoid? What supplies do you need? A new journal perhaps? Or to make a comfy spot to pray in? Talk to Jesus about this. Talk to your family, small group, or housemates about what might be possible this summer. And check out THE GIFT OF A SACRED SUMMER and our RETREAT!