A Letter From Our Pastor: As Summer Winds Down, Fall Back into Stewardship
August used to be viewed as a summer month, sort of a continuation of July with a few differences — we knew harvest began for some crops, and back-to-school sales came at the end of the month. After all, school started right after Labor Day. But nowadays, due to the move to complete a whole semester before Christmas, many communities begin the school year in August. In some places, you’ll even find back-to-school sales in July.
So is August still summer or the beginning of fall? I don’t have an answer as to how the month should be classified to reflect the changing social scene. On the other hand, I do know that it’s a time when we should be looking ahead to how we’re going to serve as Christian disciples and stewards once the fall routines begin.
Let’s be honest — most Americans have a different mindset about the period of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It may have been years since we’ve been in school, but that pattern of “summer vacation” has a stronghold on us. We may take a vacation in the fall to see the leaves, or vacation in winter for skiing or taking cruises, but we still think of the summer as the time for vacations.
Many also have this preconceived notion that nothing really goes on in our parish over the summer. Of course, Mass is celebrated regularly, and there are weddings and funerals, but otherwise, the parish is a quieter place during the summer months. Isn’t it?
That may once have been true, but it is most certainly not the case today. Some groups will suspend meetings during the summer, but there’s Vacation Bible School for the children, and all across America, youth groups are attending conferences and sharing in service projects in areas of need. In addition, both our staff and our volunteers are busy during the summer. They are working to prepare for all the things that go on when our “normal” schedule resumes after Labor Day. That brings me to my main point — how are you preparing yourself this August for serving as a steward once Labor Day has passed? If you’re still relaxing by a pool, or even better, on the beach, have you thought of how you can best serve the Lord Jesus with the talent He has entrusted to you? Have you planned on how you can arrange your schedule to offer Him more of your time in prayer, worship, and study? Have you considered how your budget might be rearranged to share more of the treasure in your care?
Maybe our Lord is inviting you to teach religious education, or to work with the youth, or to visit shut-ins, or to volunteer at a food bank, or to sing in the choir, or to attend weekday Mass or — well, you get the idea. While we suffer in the August heat and wait for summer to be completely over and for autumn to arrive, let’s use our time to evaluate how we can be better disciples, better stewards, better Christians this fall, and throughout the rest of our lives.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Steven Arisman, Pastor