Monday Message, May 31, 2021
As promised, the calendar of events (well, most of it) is out this morning. Please be sure to mark down all the meetings you wish to attend to save the dates. When the office opens on Tuesday, we will start loading more information online in terms of times, places, costs, etc.
In case you missed last week’s notice, please see these Considerations for Fall 2021 for you to take into account as you plan.
If your parish is interested in being one of our ten pilot parishes for Nexus, please download the Nexus brochure.
Please hold the dates for some great webinars – see the calendar of events for more information:
- Josh Packard from Springtide talking about Gen Z
- Grieving What We’ve Lost
- Helping Parents be Witnesses
It would easy – too easy – to lose sight of why we take the day off from work today. Between hot dogs and hamburgers, beach passes, and cutting the grass, today marks the unofficial beginning of summer. Many of us will stand along streets to watch parades, catch up on household chores, and spend time with family and friends – something we have not enjoyed in quite some time.
But it’s important, too, to pause for a moment and remember why we enjoy the freedom to do the things we love to do. Thanks to the sacrifice of someone’s daughter or son, sister or brother, mother or father, you and I get to vote for whomever we choose and then complain about the outcome. We get to speak our mind out loud without fear of recrimination and we get to worship wherever we choose.
Freedom comes at a price. Following the Civil War, which claimed more lives than any conflict in our nation’s young history, our leaders were faced with the need for the country’s first national cemeteries. Within a few years, Americans in towns and cities began setting aside a day in late spring to pay tribute to the fallen, decorating their graves with flowers and praying for the dead.
As wars continued, so did the number of cemeteries. Decoration Day gave way to Memorial Day, which was established officially as a federal holiday in 1968 and first celebrated across the country in 1971.
So even if you do not have a chance to visit a cemetery and lay flowers at a grave, you and I can pause this day and give thanks for the brave women and men who offered, as President Lincoln called it, “the last full measure of devotion.”
You can be a person of peace. You can speak kindly to a stranger, thank a veteran, fly the flag at your home. You can pray in public, tell your children the stories of friends and family that served. You can enjoy the freedoms earned by another’s sacrifice.
And we can pray…
God of power and mercy,
you destroy war and put down earthly pride.
Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears,
that we may all deserve to be called your daughters and sons.
Keep in your mercy those men and women
who have died in the cause of freedom
and bring them safely
into your kingdom of justice and peace.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.