I have been learning to love from a distance. Maybe it started when I dropped off my oldest daughter at the university for her freshman year. It continued when the second child moved into freshman housing at another university. It was no easier when I walked the third daughter down the aisle. These treasures had garnered my attention throughout their lifetimes, but with miles between us, the care and concern and love seemed to escalate. What I’ve learned with my daughters, I now practice with a granddaughter – Harper. I am planning and plotting ways to care for her, love her and visit her. I’ve learned to love from a distance.

I’m hoping each of you makes some space during these Summer days for rest, recreation and travel. I’m praying you find some Sabbath time at your favorite lake or beach or mountaintop. I’m also trusting that you will love from a distance. Maybe even escalate your love and care and concern. June, July and August are often considered ‘summer slump’ months in the life of the church. Attendance is down, giving is down and many meetings are pared down. In contrast, this is programmatically one of the busiest and most expensive seasons of church life. Camps, mission trips and other special programs fill the calendar. So, while you are away this summer, love your church from a distance. Make sure to send your tithes and offerings. Encourage other family members and friends to fill your pew. Pray for your church family each day. Post some pictures on Facebook or send the church a post card and allow us to celebrate some summer fun with you. It’s summer, but let’s not slump. Let’s love each other from a distance…

– Jim