July~August 2019

Post date: Jun 25, 2019 4:0:20 PM

Dear People of God,

Ah, summer time is here and it’s my favorite time of the year! After the cold of winter (and spring in Ellensburg), it is freeing just to be able to stop wearing so much heavy clothing. I like to ask people what brings them renewal during the summertime. I love to sit out on my back deck in the sun, before the heat of the day, and read my morning devotions and Bible passages while having breakfast. It’s also good prayer time and a great way to start the day and stay connected to God our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.

In the church calendar, we are into the long, green growing season of Sundays after Pentecost, also known as Ordinary Time. We are encouraged to keep growing in faith and life, just like the plants and fields around us are green and growing in the summer sunshine. The Sunday Gospel readings focus on the teachings, actions and miracles of our Savior Jesus.

In the summer, it can be easy to get out of the good habits of worship and prayer time due to travels or vacations. I encourage you to take your Bible and devotion booklets along with you wherever you go. Even while backpacking in the mountains, and I carry less weight every year as I get older, I take a little pocket New Testament with Psalms. I’m a person who is renewed by spending time in God’s marvelous creation. Hiking in our nearby mountains is one of my favorite things to do in the summer. Seeing the grandeur of God’s mountains, lakes and forests renews me. I also enjoy riding my bike on the Iron Horse Trail beside the Yakima River. (I know that’s not the correct trail name anymore, but it’s the same trail.) But I also enjoy being lazy and sitting in the shade in the back yard with a good book and a glass of iced tea. What renews you during the summer months?

I always enjoy planting a little garden in the summer. I honestly don’t work very hard at gardening, but I do plant some tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins and green beans. Getting my hands in the dirt connects me to God’s good earth. God designed seeds and soil to feed humans and all living creatures. Planting seeds and watching them grow, helping them along, is to participate in a miracle. Plus there is nothing like the taste of home grown tomatoes and veggies!

This summer, let yourself be renewed through God’s good creation, through the saving Good News of Jesus Christ in the Bible, through worship with other Christians, and through prayer time with our loving God.

At the same time, let us not forget our hungry neighbors in need while we enjoy the summer time. People need to eat all year round and donations to our food banks go down in the summer. I urge you to keep on supporting our FISH Food bank and the lunches in the parks for children. If you are a gardener with extra produce or fruit, the food bank is happy to receive it. I like to pray for all farmers and all who work the land during the summer. A favorite prayer of mine in the growing season is, “Lord, may there be bountiful harvests and plentiful food for all.”

May the summer time be renewing for you. Let yourself be renewed through the goodness of God our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.

Peace in Christ, Pastor Dennis