Monday, May 31, 2010

The Slow Days of Summer?

I don't know why I think that Summer for a pastor brings with it a slowage. . . because really (at least here) it doesn't. Now, I know up in Nebraska the farmers all told my dad, "It's summer, we're busy. Put the bible studies on hold and go golfing" - but that isn't the case here. Some things go away - preschool, confirmation, Latin with the Davidson girls -- all told, probably around 5 hours or so of stuff off of normal.

Now, 5 hours isn't anything to shake a stick at, but it's not suddenly going to part time either. And plus, well, actually, summers can become really even more busy for me. When Vicar Hobson returns, he and I will end up doing probably 4-8 hours of study and discussion a week. I may be should be teaching a Greek class this summer - that's going to be another 3-6 hours a week. And I still have my 2 bible studies during the week and the weekly devotional in town. . . still lots of stuff.

But it does seem different - and I think here is why.

1. Ordinary time. The Character of the Church Year Changes. We are moving away from festivals and extra celebrations to a time of reflecting upon Christ's Word. There is a move from action towards contemplation, and that just seems slower. . .
2. Rescheduling - over the course of the School Year, things pop up. Got to do this here and that's just how it is. As Summer comes, we get to reschedule and reorganize our time - and that can make things more efficient - so things get done quicker.
3. It's fun - I can't wait for Jay to get back, I can't wait for this Greek Class to start. I get to discuss theology. I get to study Greek in detail again. I find these things to be mentally invigorating - teaching those who really, really want to learn is energizing to me.
4. The Sun is up. I get to Church to work early. I "slept in" today until 6:15, and didn't start Church stuff until around 7. I'm a morning person. But now, I see the sun. The sun is up when I head to Church. I can have a full 10, 12 hour day. . . and there's still sun. There's still day-light left. Gone are the days of Advent where the only sun I see is while walking to the car to drive to another appointment - let there be light!
5. The other things are done. The graduations of May - done. The festivities of Easter in April. Done. Lent. Done. The Thanksgiving-Epiphany stretch (which I think is the busiest and most stressful time) is as far away in the calendar as it gets. And the prep for the school year stuff isn't pressing - there is time a plenty for it (and yes, we prep a lot for those extra 5-6 hours the school year brings, even if you have no Christian Day School)

So no, it's not that my summer slows down. It may even be busier -- but it's just. . . refreshing, I suppose. Relaxed, a bit? Still, a wondrous time. I think I might actually take some time off the rest of this memorial day to spend with me bride - right after a bit of Greek reading. Be well all!

P.S. Suggestions! Jay Hobson will be returning from Vicarage in July. We've talked about doing some Augustine, Luther (maybe the Galatians Commentary). Anyone have any suggestions as to something that Jay and I should attempt to tackle in 8 weeks or so this summer?


Rev. Josh Sullivan said...

I find ordinary time tougher to preach, actually. During the Festival half of the year I know what's coming this sunday, next sunday, and in 4 sundays, and they work in a progression. I'm able to think ahead. But with ordinary time I can never remember which text comes next since there is no progression. I suppose its different for everyone and we all approach liturgical preaching differently.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

There is a progression, but it's not a progression of action - rather a progression of ideas and thoughts. It's harder to get a grasp of, but it is there. It's catechatical.

Rev. Luke T. Zimmerman said...

8 weeks with a returning vicar? Well, how about a couple of short books from Chemnitz? Perhaps read through the Lord's Prayer and the Enchiridion. (They're in the new Volume V in the CPH Chemnitz series...might still be available separately.) That would be helpful for the Theological Interview at the end of SEM IV year.

Or how about reading through a collection of essays? I found some of the collections edited by Braaten and Jenson to be good reading. I would suggest their "Marks of the Body of Christ" and/or "The Catholicity of the Reformation" collections. You could read an essay or two per week and then discuss them. With three years under Jay's belt, he should have some good discernment skills. This would be good practice in that.