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To the Saints who are in Los Osos, July 2021
Carly Simon wrote the song, “Anticipation,” in 1971. Most of us will remember the song from the late ‘70’s Heinz Catsup commercials. Simon wrote the song out of frustration while waiting for Cat Stevens, who was very late, to pick her up for their first date. I’m writing this month’s column about anticipation… and frustration.
August is my birth month. When I was young August was a mixture of anticipation and frustration. In the olden days when I was in elementary school, school never started until the week after Labor Day. That was the source of the frustration. Throughout the school year it was easy to do birthday parties because kids were seeing and relating to each other all the time. Early summer birthday parties often worked, but by the time my birthday rolled around at the end of August parties always seemed to be a bust. I never really had good birthday parties growing up.
On the other hand, August was a month of anticipation because my birthday was coming – and we did
birthdays big in my family. On my birthday, (except for a couple of years when my sister and I were younger and had joint birthday celebrations), it was all about me. On your birthday you got to choose what to have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You got to choose a theme and a cake. Within reason, you got to choose the agenda for the day. It was exciting to plan those things and anticipate the day. As I’ve gotten older, my birthday gradually lost that shine and now I don’t much pay attention – but when I was a child I would have been scandalized with a minimalist birthday. I can tell you that Rachel appreciates that my expectations have changed.
This isn’t August, it’s July, and we’re meeting it this year with a mixture of anticipation and frustration. We’ve been waiting almost a year and a half to be able to join together for in-person worship. For most of that time, it hasn’t been safe to gather in person, so we’ve been frustrated. The Annual Conference has established a set of guidelines for resuming in person worship to ensure that we will be safe when we gather. Since the vaccines began to roll out we’ve had a mix of anticipation of being able to gather safely and frustration at the “not yet.” I can’t say how many conversations I’ve had with many of you asking since March of 2020, “When will we be able to come back together?” At last, the time is finally coming. Our main anticipation is almost at an end. I’m sure that by now everyone knows that we’ll be coming back to the sanctuary on July 11.
The wait is almost over… mostly. I’m still frustrated since the Annual Conference guidelines were written a year ago and CDC guidelines and state and local guidelines have changed many times since then. I’m still hoping for a clearer statement from Conference about what we may and may not do. At present, it looks like we will still need to wear masks, but we will be able to sing and recite together. At present, it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to do coffee fellowship. On the other hand, things are changing so fast that by the 11th some of these things may be possible. We need to appreciate our long anticipated coming together and wait with anticipation until things can be opened fully.
I began my column with Carly Simon’s song. The last verse reads:
And tomorrow we might not be together
I’m no prophet and I don’t know nature’s ways
So I’ll try and see into your eyes right now
And stay right here ‘cause these are the good old days
We don’t know what is coming in the future, but we do know that we are going to be able to do so much more than we could before. It is my prayer that we cherish one another and the things that we can do, even if we anticipate more. God grant us to know that indeed, “these are the good old days.”
It’s good to be finally able to say…
See you in Church,
continue saving and sharing your Trader Joe’s and Spice Hunter brand bottles
with Rachel and me. Could you save any that you may empty and bring them to the
church or I can pick them up? Thank you to those who have brought bottles for
us! Thank you