It’s mid-July so this E-Redeemer reflection has become sort of an annual tradition for me as I return from vacation. For the most part, I was down at our cottage in the Northern Neck of Virginia. We are right on the water looking out to the Chesapeake Bay. The view from our porch is beautiful and quiet; offering a backdrop for uninterrupted reading, resting and reflecting.

Let me share some of the books I read:

Even at the Grave by Rev. Lisa Saunders, Episcopal Priest at Christ Church, Charlotte, NC. She reflects about what she has learned over the years from presiding at a number of funerals.

Penelope Ayers; A Memoir by Amy Julia Becker. The story of a daughter-in-law coming to know her husband’s mother in the midst of her dying.

The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham. A reflection about normalizing our human imperfections within our faith.

Gut Feelings; The Intelligence of the Unconscious  How does intuition work and how to develop it.

The Work; Searching for a Life that Matters by Wes Moore. Wonderful book whose author is part of our fall Voices Series.

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome; America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing by Dr. Joy DeGruy. This was a fascinating and enlightening book about the long term effects of slavery on the African American culture/community today.

Jefferson’s Daughters by Catherine Kerrison. The untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s 3 daughters; 2 white and free, 1 black and enslaved and the divergent paths they forged in a newly independent America.

In addition to the reading, I also had my first true experience of “binging” (as in movies!) I re-watched Ken Burns documentary series The Civil War which I had seen many years ago but wanted to view again. It was fascinating and worth seeing on a more regular basis.

In what turned into a very powerful emotional experience was watching all 5 seasons of The Wire. (Thank you Amazon Prime!). I had not seen it when it first came out but to watch it in 2018 in a condensed period of time was really hard and valuable. It felt like a current documentary about Baltimore. I wish there was some way to offer this opportunity to the parish because of the many implications for our city….but not sure how to realistically plan such an experience.

So, as you have heard in the past, I so value the sacrament of rest and took full advantage of it again this summer. I love the following quote: “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”  John Lubbock