Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Yes, I am happy that summer is now here even though as I write this article Denver is under a winter storm warning! But one of the things that makes me happy is the alarm clock does not have to ring and wake me up as early as it does during the school year. Soccer is ending and baseball is just beginning. Some place to be every night of the week and when there is a late baseball game the night can become very short.
Losing a little sleep is a very small price to pay for the enjoyment of being at the ball diamond cheering on our son and our son’s team. In fact, it is good for the soul. Not in the same sense that Sunday morning is good for the soul, but when we visit the baseball field or if you have a daughter then the softball diamond it’s like a mini-vacation. We get to get away from all the stuff that is going on in the world and enjoy the important stuff like watching our children, youth and young adults playing baseball or softball as we cheer on the home team.
However, it has been my experience that the months of June, July and including August are the fastest months of the year. They fly by! Baseball season will end as quickly as it has begun. Vacations that we planned on for months in advance becomes a reality and is over before you know it. And as we start going to county fairs and state fairs we are also buying school supplies and getting ready for a new school year.
The months of June, July and August are also the loneliest times of the year for us pastors. These three months are the lowest in attendance and I have no problem with seeing less of you even though I love you and miss you. I pray when you are out and about you make a special effort to be in a church on Sunday mornings. Don’t worry what denomination the church you go to is even though I have a bias for UMC. Nor do I want you to worry what kind of worship they have as a new experience may be a good thing. Just bring your experience back to us and it may become a part of and enhance our own worship experience.
While summer goes on the church will still be open and doing the things we need to do that makes us the Oakland UMC. We have been and are good stewards of our resources but when attendance goes down and offering reflects attendance the end of the month balance sheet may become suspenseful! So, don’t totally forget us and remember us in all your planning and budgeting for your summertime activities. In the meantime go and enjoy your summer and I promise you that “we will keep the lights on for you” until you return.
See you Sunday,
Rev. Dennis Hopes