by the Rev. Ray Hess
Summer can be a time to mark special dates in our lives. As we take vacation trips and sometimes visit with family and friends, we have the opportunity to remember important events. This June, Deborah and I will be taking two trips back east for this kind of milestone. We will go the first weekend in June to the Philadelphia area for my 50 th prep school reunion. For my high school years, I attended The Hill School, a traditional boarding prep school in Pottstown, about thirty miles west of Philadelphia. I have not been back since I graduated, and Deb has never seen the school. This is a part of my life that I want to share with her, as well as being with classmates whom I have not seen for fifty years.
The last weekend of June, Deb and I will take another trip east to Cleveland for my sister Debbie’s 70 th birthday celebration. Originally, we were going to visit Debbie after my prep school reunion, but we found out that my nephew is having a birthday party for my sister at the end of June. Debbie’s 70 th birthday is a very important milestone for her, and I don’t want to miss it. I’m really looking forward to being with her and other family for this special birthday.
We each have our personal histories with our own milestones. A central part of our faith is the experience of God’s presence and guidance as we go through our lives. We thank God for God’s love and care in the past in good times and difficult times, and we offer our future to God and pray for guidance. This was a crucial part of the faith of the people of Israel, as they remembered God’s great actions on their behalf in the past and looked in hope to the future.
At St. George’s, we also have milestones. Our vestry will meet with me and Kay Rohde from the Office of the Bishop for our annual Mutual Ministry Review on Wednesday evening June 10 th . The purpose of the review is to look back at the previous twelve months to see how we have done in achieving our goals as a parish. What went well? What could have gone better or was left undone? Then we will set goals for the next twelve months. Around the same time next year, we will repeat this process. By doing this review each year, we have a method to move forward with purpose. As they say, if you aim for nothing, you will probably achieve it! On the contrary, if we set goals and check to see how we are doing, we will make good progress.
I wish everyone a great summer and God’s blessing in any travels and special personal or family milestones!