West Chelmsford United Methodist Church
Tuesday, July 29, 2014



A few years ago I wrote in the June newsletter that summer can be a time for renewal and reflection on our faith. I wrote: “The summer is more than an opportunity to take a vacation, though that is certainly a good thing for those who can do it. The summer is a change in our routines, and a chance to give attention to things we may have neglected during the rest of the year. Students (and teachers) are out of school, and can spend their time in other ways. Church and community activities slow down. In the summer we replace digging our cars out of the snow with digging the weeds out of our gardens, and raking leaves with cutting grass, but there is a different rhythm to the work. Summer also offer us a chance to step back from the busy day-to-day of our lives and to consider what is important for us. “Where is your life going, and how will you get there? What kind of person (and what kind of Christian) are you becoming?”
This year I am taking those thoughts to heart. The Staff-Parish Relations Committee is giving me the opportunity to take the months of July and August off completely. (There is an article from the committee about this arrangement later in the newsletter.) The congregation will be cared for with guest worship leaders on Sunday mornings (including some of you); some of my clergy colleagues will provide emergency pastoral care where it is needed.
The United Methodist Discipline (our book of church law) encourages clergy to periodically take time off for rest and renewal. This is the first time I have done so in my 33 years of full-time ministry. I plan to use the time visiting family, reading, attending some continuing education events, and working on a few projects that I have wanted to find time to do over the years.
I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward not only to the summer but also to coming back in the fall renewed and ready to embrace the important work we do together as God’s people.
Reverend Mack