The traditional English round begins: “Sumer is icumen in.” Summer has arrived, in spite of the calendar’s delay. One of summer’s gifts is the baseball season.
In a memorable game last week, pitcher Armando Galarraga got the first 26 batters out. It was the ninth inning with two outs and he was ‘that close’ to a perfect game. Batter Jason Donald hit a grounder to second, Galarraga covered first and umpire Jim Joyce called Donald ‘safe,’ though the replay shows clearly that Donald was out. Galarraga was robbed of his perfect game!
The mistaken umpire was more critical of himself than was Galarraga, who gave Joyce a hug and he said, “Nobody’s perfect.” Galarraga would have been the 21st pitcher in major league history to have a perfect game, but Joyce’s bad call makes it all the more memorable and moving.
My sermon on February 21 was titled The Fine Art of Failure. I plan to resurrect it for my service at Chautauqua on July 4, using poor old Jim Joyce’s colossal failure as an illustration – ‘nobody’s perfect.’
Working together, Galarraga and Joyce have provided something to think on. As Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians, 4:8: “Finally, friends, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things.”
Speaking of my week in Chautauqua with the Unitarian Fellowship, let me outline my summer plans: I’ll be at our UUA General Assembly in Minneapolis from June 22 to 28, then I’ll be on call until July 3. I return from Chautauqua on July 10 and I’ll be on call until July 23. The first week in August I’ll be in Maine.
John Carroll knows how to contact me whether I’m away or on call – Ed Thompson and I will share the on call times. I check church voice mail regularly and respond to emergency calls only. I don’t use email in July and August.
Yes, ‘Sumer is icumin in,’ as indicated by last Sunday’s very moving celebration of our Religious Education program, featuring children of all ages and the adults who have walked with them leaving footprints in the sands of time – Perry, Jamie and Lily deserve our heartfelt thanks. Ed Thompson is part of that team; working with the youth and teen choirs.
The presentation of the Neighboring Faiths class summarized the churches, synagogue, mosque, Buddhist Temple and sweat lodge that they visited and experienced first hand.
In a very effective Bridging Ceremony, the graduating seniors offered a moving reminder of the lasting effect the Youth Group has on our young people. They appreciate it even more as they make the transition out of high school – their words expressed their gratitude and it was obvious to all of us that those words came from a deep place – a spiritual place. Alex Handler sang The Hardest Part of Love is Letting Go; to close I read Ryan Leddy’s poem Wind, on the reverse side.
I look forward to seeing you on the 13th and 20th, and hope you have a great Sabbath-like summer.