June is a month of many celebrations. It is Pride Month, of course. Tomorrow is Juneteenth. Sunday is Father’s Day. Lots of high school and middle school graduations happen in June, and this month in the church calendar is filled with commemorations of saints, martyrs and disciples. The Church of the Holy Apostles gathered for our own celebration last Sunday, as we returned to worshipping together in our beautiful, sacred building.
It is said that every celebration has a shadow side. We know this to be true: there is always an element of defiance in communal joy, a transcendent energy insisting that new life emerges from struggle (and that the pain inherent in struggle is neither monolithic nor final). In each of the commemorations named above, celebration is bound up with change. That change could mean the difference between life and death. It could signify expanded awareness and growth, or it could herald new beginnings. Sometimes it includes elements of all of these things.
And celebrations, while they are a moment in time and out of time, are never static. They raise our consciousnesses around issues that are important, and around work we still need to do. The best celebrations give us positive momentum to engage such processes with clear vision and focused commitment.
There was so much joy among us as we reunited for worship last Sunday. The privilege of being together was hard won, and hearing our voices raised in prayer and song was no less sweet for the long road to get there. Woven through our happiness in being together are questions that commission us all. What will the next phase of our common life look like? How will we continue to live into our Mission Statement, seeking Christ and aspiring to do the work of the Gospel?
I look forward to the ongoing conversation on this and all aspects of who we are in community. And I am grateful for all the ways that we continue to seek and serve and celebrate together.