September 8, 2019: Ingathering with Intentionality
by Father Jadon

For many years the Sunday after Labor Day has been referred to as “Ingathering Sunday,” signaling to us all that summer is effectively over and that it’s time to come back to church. But, just like the first week of January when many of us kind of struggle for a few weeks to commit or recommit to one commitment or another, getting back into the weekly rhythm of church, at any time, isn’t like flipping a toggle switch from off to on. Most of us didn’t quit church completely over the summer, even if we came to Mass less often or were away from home more than usual. And for many of us, the passing of Labor Day doesn’t mean an automatic shift in either our conscience or the rhythms of our life. Being faithful to God isn’t a linear business. Like every other living thing, our spiritual life has a kind of ever-flowing seasonality to it, and I think pretending otherwise is anything but helpful.

Perhaps more helpful than the image of flipping a toggle switch is the idea of turning a light on and offer with a dimmer. You can turn the light up or down, quickly or slowly, with varying degrees of intentionality. And, I think that metaphor applies both to the idea of back-to-church “ingathering” this month, and to the seasonality of our spiritual life more generally and over the course of our lives. The most important aspect of all this, I think, is intentionality. So wherever you are in your life of faith, I invite you to reflect a bit, this month, on how intentional you are being these days about tending to the light of Christ that shines within you. Perhaps something in your life of faith needs to be dialed up, or down.

In the coming weeks, as we embrace a season of ingathering here at All Souls, we’ll be announcing a variety of programs that have been designed to respond to what I and your church staff and leaders have heard you say you want or need. Much of this content will be delivered in a new “small groups” format, a way for Christians to be intentional that has been time-tested and proven effective in churches of every kind. To help you find your way into these and other offerings, a new Guide Book will be available next week, and I hope you’ll use it to find news ways to care, serve, and grow in the coming season(s).
Last Published: September 5, 2019 3:54 PM
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