From Pastor Pat Kriss: Gather by the Water
(Posted August 27, 2017)
A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz. ~Humphrey Bogart
It’s that time of the year again at First Church. Time to put on our favorite shorts and top, and head off to the Poolside Picnic Service that we hold to mark the end of the summer, and the beginning of autumn. There is no morning service at church today, but this year for a change, we will be giving Al and Linda Jennings a well-earned rest right before their son’s wedding. Instead we’ll be gathering at the home of Jim and Pat Moriarty at 2 p.m. on Sunday August 27, first for a picnic. The actual poolside church service will be around 4 p.m. We are compiling a list of pot luck contributions to this outdoor feast. The weather is forecast to be lovely.
But why do we take a break to meet and worship elsewhere once a year? If you think about it, Jesus held every single gathering with the people at a different location. On a mountain. On a plain. And especially, he gathered people by the water, whether a river or a lake. A change of location can bring a change in people’s perspective. Especially after the disturbing events of the past few weeks, a new perspective is exactly what we need. There’s another reason. As much as we are proud of our Puritan/Pilgrim heritage with its strong Protestant work ethic, there’s also a time for leisure. It was George Santayana who mused, “To the art of working well a civilized race would add the art of playing well.” It’s the children who always know how to play on our special Sunday, to bring a bathing suit and jump off into the water.
And so we gather as a community, to break bread and eat hot dogs and potato salad, willing to share a few non-scripted, non-scheduled moments just to be, down by the pool. I look forward to seeing all of you.
My personal thanks go out to the Moriartys, to Nancy Wildman, our soloist today, and especially to Jane Ellingwood, for providing the spiritual leadership while I took vacation time. May peace prevail on earth. --- Pastor Pat Kriss