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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

August 20, 2010


The end of the summer.

It seems strange, “back when I was a kid” Summer lasted until the evening of Labor Day and then magically and tragically disappeared as the sun set. Never mind that summer had a couple more weeks until September 21st.

I take a few weeks vacation, spaced with weeks at work during the summer. The work feels different; my car heats up as it sits in the parking lot. The air conditioning in my office cranks out a good amount of cool air and I wear my sandals. But for the most part Summer is work, like everyone else with a job and the end of Summer is but a day on the calendar which now seems to be around August 20 (for students and teachers) and then Summer will end again on Labor Day and then end again on September 21. Maybe that’s the joy of summer; it now has three “official” endings.

Our bodies and lives have a certain rhythm to them. We anticipate seasons, be they linked to the rotation of the earth or linked to the course of events.

A number of years ago I was serving the church in the mountains of Washington State. I remember the first full summer I was there. I had begun the previous September and gone through the beautiful autumn in the mountains, the harsh winter, the dreary spring (if there was such a thing) and then the gorgeous summer. But as August progressed I kept sensing anxiousness about me. If you know me, being anxious is not something that happens to me very often. Just the same, it continued in August and then September. Then I figured it out.

My body-clock was telling me it was time to move on, but my church job was telling me I it was not. Think about it. All through school and then college, I stopped studying in June and resumed in September. I then taught for one year in Ohio with the same schedule. Moved to Zambia where we taught for 3 months then had a month off, then three teaching and one off and the same for the final third of the year. It was a continual starting and stopping.

Back in the States and then seminary, and I was on the 9 months study and three months off routine. Granted, I held church jobs all the time, but the study stuff was 9 on and 3 months off. But in Sept of 1979 we moved to Montana for a church internship. September of 1980 we moved back to Berkeley for a final year of seminary. September of 1981 we moved to Wisconsin for a church Associate position. September of 1982 we moved to Washington State for my first solo church.

Then came September of 1983. I realized my body and mind was preparing for another move; the gathering of boxes and packing and loading the car and heading on down the road. Once I realized I was not moving the anxiousness ceased. I prepared my heart and soul for a different cycle of life and work.

Today I am somewhat settled. I am going nowhere in particular this September (save for the pastoring I love at Dublin Community Church) and the nice thing is, I get three chances to say goodbye to summer.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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