The Practice of Showing Up

This year, I have been talking about different practices of faith in my monthly Bellringer column. As I mentioned at the start of the year, Christian practices are those ways that we intentionally order our lives in response to Jesus and the Gospel. They grow out of our faith and they deepen our faith in the process. The sacraments, like Eucharist and Baptism, are practices, but so are things like hospitality, keeping sabbath, serving those in need, visiting prisoners, singing, and so many more.

Summer has been a great time to practice sabbath, that gift of rest that God built into the very order of creation. Embracing summer as the practice of sabbath allows it to be a time of rejuvenation and renewal. The pace is a bit slower. School is out. Many take vacation. Some travel. I love summer, but there is a downside: I miss everyone! I am gone more, you are gone more. Sometimes those line up in the worst possible way and months go by without seeing someone. The summer sabbath practice is great, but at this point, I am so glad to be back and engaged and I am ready for everyone to return so we can engage in another favorite practice of mine: the practice of showing up to each other!

I am looking forward to our program year kicking off. In this issue of the Bellringer, you can read about different possibilities you have to worship, serve, and grow in faith here at St. Mary’s. There are educational opportunities for children, youth and adults to explore. There are fun fellowship activities to join in on. There are ministries you can do to help serve those in need and others to enrich our worship. Engaging in a ministry can be a practice. Join a choir and engage in the ancient practice of singing, connecting you to the holy in a profound way. Come to the Block Party or Evening at St. Mary’s to engage in the ancient practice of fellowship, tending those relationships and bonds of affection that serve as the connective tissue in the Body of Christ. Serve at the Saturday Breakfast and engage in the practice of serving Christ in your hungry neighbor. Or just come. To anything. Show up. It is a practice unto itself. The practice of showing up to each other is one of the most important practices there is. See you soon!