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A Pastor's Post:  by Pastor Brenda                                                                     07/28/2018

Today as I write this first blog post, I am on the cusp of holidays.  My mind is full of details and what needs to be done prior to Monday.  Once my list is complete, I will be able to go ahhhhhhhhh! 

I am struck that the word holiday comes from the two words 'holy day' being thrust together.   It's rather ironic to think of my 21 days of being unplugged from the parish as holy days .... when my whole parish work life is about honouring and lifting up holy days.  Then again, in relationship with that which we call God, every day is special, holy, because of the life we are able to live in and with God, apart from and yet a part of the world.

Long ago, decades at least, Sunday as a holy day was set apart from the rest of the week as a special day.  As a child I remember the quiet, the restfulness of the day.  It was a day to stop and worship in community, to be refreshed for the coming week.  It was a day for gathering with  family, playing ball or going to the beach or having a picnic or going for a drive, to a show, seeing people one didn't normally see during the week.  The evening meal was special too.  There would be a special main dish topped off with a special dessert.  This holy day, Sunday, was a day to be renewed and refreshed.  And given that, as the story goes, even God rested on the 7th day, to simply Be, who were we to not?

I am so grateful to be able to have a weekly sabbath, on Mondays, for regular renewal and refreshment.  How important it is to be able to stop and simply Be in this age of busyness.  To be crazily busy is no honour.  To discover the true balance between noes and yeses, doing and being is the true holy grail.  I have always felt it has been a part of my call to help those I serve to make this discovery as I struggle to do so myself!

I take all of this sensibility into my holidays. Studies have shown how important it is to be unplugged from our technology.  Nothing proves this more clearly than experiencing the initial 24 hours upon doing so.  After this period of anxiety there is, I find, a deep restfulness.  To be able to focus on the present, to be aware of the beauty around one, to immerse oneself in a good book, to have the time to do something out of the ordinary, to allow life to SLOW DOWN, all of these things are gift to the soul. And mind.  And body.

For this extended sabbath I truly give thanks.  Its refreshment always renews me to be able to better serve the rest of the year.  I pray that you too will have a time of holiday to do the same.