Dear People of St. Catherine’s,
Last Saturday I found myself sitting on the steps of the pool at our clubhouse next to my grandson Liam. I am trying to teach him to swim! His sister now swims like a fish. Liam is more like a “splashing superhero”, sure enough to splash with his feet, but not sure about going out into the deep with grandpa. But I told his parents that swimming is not an option in Florida. For children, it’s a matter of life and death, so Liam will swim! Step by step, blowing bubbles, kicking his feet. Little by little he will also attain “fish” status like his sister.
I thought of Liam as I considered our life together at St. Catherine’s during the next month. We will undertake two adventures that are basic, necessary and dazzling in their lasting impact on our lives.
On August 4, at the 10 a.m. Eucharist will baptize Julian. He’s a small boy, not even ready to enter the pool. Except that he will enter the baptismal pool on that morning and be washed with the grace, love, mercy and joy of Christ. We who know how to swim in the baptismal waters must now swim with him, showing him how to blow bubbles, how to make a splash, how to launch out into the deep when that time comes. It’s what we do as Christians. It’s a matter of life and death. And I invite you to be with us on that great and glorious day to promise our support and encouragement to Julian as he embarks on his baptismal life.
Then, on August 11, at the 10 a.m. Eucharist, we will bless the children of St. Catherine’s and their backpacks. We will salute them and encourage them as they “swim” into uncharted waters for the new school year. We will bless their teachers and all who assist them in this adventure, And we will bless backpacks filled with school supplies that will be given to children at Temple Terrace Elementary School who do not have “grandpa” to teach them to swim. So we stand with them and say “swim on, precious young people, we’re with you.”
There always comes a moment, when I have taught my children and grandchildren to swim, when I just need to say “you’re swimming! You can do it.” With my older son it was in a lake at Nashotah House seminary in Wisconsin. With my granddaughter it was when she swam the whole length of the pool by herself – “I thought you were behind me, grandpa!”
So we say to Julian – “you can do it, precious child. You can live the Christian life. We believe in you and God believes in you.” So we say to the children of our parish and children in Temple Terrace School – and every school “you can do it, precious ones, you can learn. We believe in you and God believes in you.”
And I want to say to all of you in this lovely congregation, “you can do it, precious people. You can live together in grace and joy, move forward in hope and all because I believe in you and God believes in you.
With watery hope,
Allen W. FarabeePosted in Newsletter
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