We are committed to helping others grow and develop holistically.
We also encourage learning at all ages.
One should never stop expanding their mind, no matter how much time goes by.
Summer is a wonderful time to slow things down. It is a time to take a lazy stroll along the beach, or sprawl on a picnic blanket, or go for a boat ride on the Hudson River.
Slowing down, however, may prove challenging for many of us. We live in a society that marks success based on productivity and output. We live in a society where it is easy to become a prisoner of the urgent. While there is merit to the idea of staying focused and determined when it comes to having momentum and securing a goal, at what point is it okay to slow down and evaluate our progress? Or what is the theological underpinning for our movement in life?
I suppose that one of the reasons why we have been given the Sabbath is so we can learn to slow down. The Sabbath is presented to us as the fourth commandment out of The Ten Commandments in our Judeo-Christian, spiritual tradition.
The Sabbath was modeled by God in creation: God made the world in six days, and then God rested on the seventh day, and then God instructed the Hebrew people to keep the Sabbath holy.
The word “holy” could be translated “healthy”, and the word “Sabbath” comes from an old Babylonian root meaning, “Stop doing what you normally do!” Blessed and wise is he who follows, even in modern days, the implications of those words. “The Sabbath was made for man,” said Jesus in Mark 2:27.
If we are to live healthy, functional, productive, and sacred lives, we are called to slow down. Keeping the Sabbath is a good way to start.
There was a twelfth-century rabbi who said – and this is a beautiful statement – “I keep the Sabbath. God keeps me.” Isn’t that beautiful? I keep the Sabbath. God keeps me.
The Psalmist talks about being faithful to God, and God is always faithful to the ones who are faithful to God. I keep the Sabbath. God keeps me.
I hope that you take time this summer to slow down, keep the Sabbath, and grow into your fullness through rest, worship, and self-care.
See below for previous pastoral letters: