Beloved Orthodox Christians,

The summer months are upon us. To many, our thoughts are filled with leisure and plans for vacation. Our focus shifts as we “wind down’ from a busy school year. In many parishes, Church School takes a short break to accommodate the schedules of the parishioners as do other activities and meetings.

The Feast of Pentecost has passed and we find ourselves in the midst of another Lenten period. In its great wisdom, the Church has assigned two Lenten periods, the first is the Apostles’ Fast, occurring at the start of the summer season; the second is the Dormition Fast, occurring at the end of August. Recognizing our potential for laxity during the summer months, the fasts remind us that we never vacation from God. As Orthodox Christians, our goal is to receive the Holy Spirit. Though we fall into sin or despair, we should never cease our struggles to follow after our Lord.

So, as we mark our calendars for our weekend getaways or vacation layovers, let us also remain dedicated to our faith and to our higher calling. For some, vacation might be traveling to exotic places. When we are in the midst of natural wonders, take that time to give thanks to God for creating such majesty.  If we are hiking PhotoDotison a mountain trail, give thanks to God creating the splendor of the lovely vistas, and if lounge on a beach by the ocean, compare the depth of God’s love for us to the seeming vastness of the sea. Our God, is everywhere present and fills all things!

To Him be glory forever!