I’ve been thinking about journeying and what that means. Every summer, since I was small, I have spent time at my family’s lakeside cottage in Denmark, Maine. It’s so familiar to me – the sights, sounds, smells – that it’s like home away from home. There are things I love to do while I’m there – swim in the lake, go out for an early morning canoe ride, walk along the pine-scented roads, hear the loons calling at night, drive into town to visit the book store and get water at the town spring, stop for an ice cream at The Gazebo.
I also like to stretch out of my usual routine too – I often love to take different routes to get to the cottage, visit a town I haven’t been to before or a new shop. Talk to neighbors I haven’t met before. Stepping out of my comfort zone stretches me, and I often end up feeling that my little adventures feel God-inspired. When I’m open to it, I meet people and see places I might not have otherwise. And when my time in Maine comes to a close, I am always happy to come home again to Austerlitz and my family.
Some of you know that I have been a member of Al-anon for a number of years. This has very much been a part of my personal and spiritual journey. And one thing that I love about Al-anon is that no matter where I am in the world, the welcome that is read at the beginning of each meeting contains many of the same elements. It is this that makes me feel at home, no matter where I am, and no matter if I have never been to the meeting before or am among old friends.
As July approaches, I find I’m looking forward to our summer worship in a similar way. We’ll be journeying forth, to Richmond and West Stockbridge. being welcomed by these other church communities, meeting new people, and seeing good friends, being led in worship by pastors we know and some that are new to us, learning by worshipping with others. There will be familiar elements and perhaps different ones that we can appreciate. I hope you, too, will take part in and enjoy our summer worship journey.
Journeying, being welcomed, being in community, learning, and coming back home again.