The Congregation at Duke University Chapel


photo of Carol

A common question this time of year is “How was your summer?” It is a reasonable, friendly, and honest question – yet one for which I find I have no good answer.

We, as a congregation, are year-round ministry. Our Sunday morning classes continue through the summer with strong attendance. Mission service projects, including Urban Ministry dinners, Families Moving Forward meals, and Saturday morning projects, maintain their usual schedule. Fellowship opportunities actually increase in the summer, from monthly events, to weekly Lemonade on the Lawn. Behind the scenes, the Altar Guild, Stewardship and Finance Committee, and a host of other volunteers quietly do what they are called to do without interruption. Even on a holiday weekend, this coming Sunday, our patterns of ministry stay the same. Yes, some people will travel for the holiday, but many of us will be here. So, we come for worship, education, mission, and fellowship.

We are part of an academic community, so, of course, we notice the rhythms of the academic year. And, in part, it is because all students will be back on campus this Sunday, that I thought it was particularly important that we offer our Sunday morning classes and Ministry Fair this week, despite the fact that it is Labor Day Weekend.

I delight in stumbling over the question “How was your summer?” The question is usually posed in relation to the life of the Congregation, so I often respond with the description I have given above. The reason I like stumbling over this question is because it reminds me that in some small ways, we are striving to reflect the steadfast love of God.

The refrain of Psalm 136 is “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
Hebrews reminds us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
Second Timothy tells us to share the gospel “in season and out of season”. (2 Timothy 4:2)

Drawing our strength from the Eternal One, may we strive to be steadfast and faithful, both as a congregation as an individual disciples.

May the peace of Christ be with you.