By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter May 31, 2018

Summer begins on June 21, 2018. While the date marks the beginning of summer, in Macon, Georgia, it feels like it has already arrived. By the time the graduates have tossed their tassels and the final exams have been proctored, summer has begin in earnest.The temperature has risen degree by degree until the AC blasts and we are quite sure that summer-time sensibilities have already arrived.

Liturgically, this season is called “Ordinary Time.” It is the season after Easter, and Pentecost. In the life of any congregation, summer is anything but ordinary. Reminds me of a line from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby: “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” Summer is like that, a time when the ordinary schedule changes.

Summer time always runs at a different pace. At times things slow, slow down in the summer, other things speed up and reset. Summer creates time and space for families to rest, reset and renew. Families are on vacation and the people are out of the pew, that doesn’t mean that things slow down at Highland Hills.

This Summer, the Church will leave the building too, but this is no summer break. In order to engage our community with the good news and form faithful disciples of Jesus then we need to leave the building. As we live into our summertime sensibilities our children will leave to attend Children’s camp at Sea World, a time and place set aside for fun and faith formation. Not long after they return Highland Hills will host Rolling River Rampage and children from all over Macon will leave their buildings and gather at the church.

Our youth will be leaving the building, as well, in order to worship throughout our region on their annual Jubilate Summer Tour. Then they will leave again to participate in Passport Youth Camp in July.

They aren’t the only ones invited to find a mission outside these walls. You are invited to leave the building as well. Our 2018 Mission project focuses on the needs of our neighbors in the Kings Park neighborhood in Macon. It begins on June 5th with Terrific Tuesdays in Kings Park.

We are called to leave the building to do God’s work in the world. Allow summer to be a different kind of season, instead of disengaging from life at Highland Hills, reengage in a new way and leave the building with purpose and intention. Instead of taking a break from your offerings, double down in this active season.