In Roman Catholic tradition, and in some Episcopal and Anglican churches (though not in our Book of Common Prayer), the season after Pentecost is called “Ordinary Time.” Ordinary Time is usually represented by the color green and indicates the parts of the liturgical year that are not in one of the major seasons (Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter--sometimes Epiphany is considered a season, and sometimes it is part of Ordinary Time).
Except for Trinity Sunday (the Sunday after Pentecost) and All Saints Day (November 1) there aren’t any major feast days during Ordinary Time. Historically, Ordinary Time coincided with the planting season, when people could not afford to take holidays off. Today, it occurs over summer when many people’s summer plans disrupt their normal church routines. It is often a joke that Episcopalians (and many other denominations) take the summer “off,” and it is true that church attendance is usually lower during the summer. But summer at St. Brendan’s is anything but ordinary!
Summer can be a challenging time for church communities. People are away on vacations, and ministries like Sunday School and the choir often take a break for the summer. But summer is also a time when we can break out of ordinary routines and experience new types of worship, service, and fellowship.
For example, during the summer, St. Brendan’s 8 am Eucharist service is held in our outdoor chapel (weather dependent). Check out this blog post about services in our outdoor chapel.
Each summer we have a parish picnic at North Park with worship, Eucharist, fun, and a delicious potluck lunch. This year, our parish picnic will be held on July 8.
Here are just a few of the other things coming up this summer:
This coming Sunday, June 10, many members of St. Brendan’s will be marching in the Pittsburgh Pride Equality March.
The week of June 25 through June 29 we will once again be holding a morning Vacation Bible School (VBS) for children in Pre-K through 5th grade. Last year’s “Hero Central” VBS was a great success. I had the chance to help out with last year’s VBS, and I was excited to see how much the kids enjoyed this program. This years' theme is Peace Lab. Fun activities will help Bible stories come to life and lead children on an awesome adventure, equipping them to follow Jesus as compassionate peacemakers. You can read more about this year’s VBS and register here.
On Saturday, June 30th, we will be attending Franklin Park’s Festival in the Park in Blueberry Hill Park, just down the road from St. Brendan’s.
And of course, July is always busy as we get ready for our big yard sale, held the first weekend of August (Friday, August 3rd and Saturday, August 4th). St. Brendan’s has been hosting “Pittsburgh’s classiest yard sale” for over 15 years. And, in fact, the yard sale is one of the things St. Brendan’s is best known for. However, shoppers who come on Friday and Saturday only get a glimpse of what the yard sale is to St. Brendan’s. Behind the scenes, the yard sale is about more than just selling used things; it is also an opportunity for ministry and fellowship. Read more in this blog post.
Most of our ministries continue full steam ahead into the summer. In fact, summer is the main planting, tending, and harvesting time for our Garden of Hope. At St. Brendan’s we’re keenly aware that many of our neighbors struggle with food insecurity and lack of access to fresh produce. Through our Garden of Hope, we provide fresh produce to the North Hills Food Bank. Parishioners of all ages, including many of our children and youth, contribute to this effort by maintaining the garden, planting seeds, watering, weeding, and harvesting.
This year we are also trying something new to connect with members who are traveling away from St. Brendan’s during the summer. We are inviting members to take a photo of “flat St. Brendan” having fun with you—at the beach, at Grandma's house, doing chalk drawings on the sidewalk, or even digging in our gardens—and share it with St. Brendan’s. Because wherever you are and whatever you are up to this summer, you are part of St. Brendan’s family. You can find more information about flat St. Brendan’s in the Little Log, and be sure to follow us on Facebook to see flat St. Brendan's adventures this summer.
Despite summer being a liturgically quite time of the year, St. Brendan’s has a lot going on and many opportunities for worship, service, and fellowship. I hope you will find a way to get involved with St. Brendan’s this summer and make your summer extra-ordinary.
Grace and peace,
A member of St. Brendan's since 2014, I enjoy being a part of this welcoming and giving community of faith. However, I am not a theologian, biblical scholar, or official spokesperson for The Episcopal Church. If you read anything on this blog that is inaccurate or contrary to the teachings of The Episcopal Church, please consider it my error and let me know! If you have questions, comments, or ideas for future blog posts, please email me at email@example.com.