Like many of you, I’m looking forward to taking a vacation, which, in practical terms, means vacating the pulpit, the office, and the day-to-day concerns of parish leadership. Put another way and coining the British idiom, I’m about to go on holiday to take holy days for rest, recuperation, and play. At any rate, starting on Sunday after church, “Gareth is getting away,” as Fran puts it. I am doing that rare thing as a parent: I am going away for a week on my own, sans la famille. This is such a rare occurrence that I am almost at a loss as to how to use the time for maximum benefit. That said, I will vacate myself to Massachusetts, where I plan to catch up with old friends. The following week, the family holiday will begin in earnest: two weeks on the Bonnet Shores in Narragansett, RI, which has a very child-friendly, private beach. From there, we will head to Fire Island for a week, where I’m booked to do a baptism for friends in the church at Point O’Woods.  

While I’m away, supply clergy will “fill in.” My friend, Ryan Bennett from St. Thomas’ Fifth Avenue will preside and preach on August 8th; a former colleague from Massachusetts, now retired, Jackie Schmitt, will do the same on August 15th and my old friend from the UK, Martin Evans, will be the celebrant on August 22nd and 29th. 

So, that’s the scoop! I look forward to reconnecting with all of you post-Labor Day, which I am hoping will mark the beginning of a spiritually and socially rich fall season at church. 

Onward in the Spirit,