DCC News

 

Weekly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Dublin Community Church

 

August 29, 2008

                                                           

The Year of Living Summer-lessly

I’ll probably get in trouble for saying this, but I really don’t like what ministers write in church newsletters. I don’t like what school teachers and principals and the president of the local Kiwanis or Rotary write either. I don’t even like what I write some of the time.

I’m talking about the changing of the seasons. Whenever we, who must write about our group,… we often begin with something like…

“Now that the leaves are turning to gold, we find our thoughts turning back to school books and tests and Friday night football games.”

Or.

“As the merry bells of Christmas ring from the radios and shopping malls, so we must begin to think of what we will do for the Holidays.”

Or.

“As the gentle rains of April come to us, we slowly begin our planning for the hectic summer months ahead.”

See, you don’t like those either; and if I have struck a nerve, sorry. But, as I said, I am guilty too. Though I should say, in defense of all of us who begin such paragraphs, I think our harkening to the seasonal- changes theme is our attempt to make sense of the speed of daily life.

The beginning of the new school year DOES seem to come too quickly. The Holidays of December DO come with unexpected speed and the first signs of Spring are always a surprise after the cold and dreary winter months. I suppose the way we introduce our newsletters and columns of information for church, service clubs, schools and medical newsletters is a way for the writer to come to grips with the fast pace of life.

So, I would like to begin our September Newsletter with something about “the nip of Fall in the air after the long Summer” or “the excitement of children buying new school clothes after the long Summer.”  But it has occurred to me in the last week. There WAS no Summer. Maybe there was, but it sure did not seem like a Summer.

 

At the lake in Michigan in July, I could have floated in the bay all day and been harassed by more loons and geese than motor boats. So many cottages were empty.

I went kayaking on O’Shaughnessy recently here in August. I was on the reservoir for a couple hours and saw no sign of life on the shores and not one other boaters on the lake. It seemed more like November rather than summer.

On Kelley’s Island in Lake Erie my mother and I rented a golf cart to tour the island. There couldn’t have been more than a dozen other cart riders on the entire island, in fact, the number of tourist cars on the ferry boat was outnumbered by the Erie Asphalt Co. trucks going to complete a driveway on the island. And this was before Labor Day.

Many of the schools began in Mid August. “When I was a kid, we would be able to squeeze a couple week’s of summer before Labor Day.” Now the school year has at least two football games completed before that holiday.

Yes, I know that rising gas prices put a crimp in the wallet and vacation plans and that may be a reason for fewer folks at the vacation sites. But, I still have this overall impression that the Summer of 2008 was non-existent. There may be some deep-seated psychological explanation on my part for that; but I just felt like we never had Summer.

And as a minister, one of the surest signs of Summer is a precipitous decline in attendance at church. That was not the case at church in June, July and August here at Dublin Community. Attendance held up very well; much better than anyone expected. It’s like there was no Summer.

I also note that attendance was up even more, for several of the Sundays when Scott and Lisa preached. I am delighted to see that. Perhaps I should take lots more Sundays off next Summer. (I thought I should broach the topic before someone else did.)

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing