Reverend Graham Brownmiller saying goodbye to Church of St. Paul in Barriere

Rev. Graham Brownmiller has accepted a call away from the North Thompson to another congegation in New Westminster

“Summer time, / and the living is easy … / one of these mornings / you’re going to rise up singing / then you’ll spread your wings / and you’ll take to the sky.” (“Summertime” by George Gershwin)

It may officially be summer, but we here in the North Thompson are definitely trying to see the easy living of summertime – the weather is not quite as many of us want or expect it.

But summertime is not just about going to the beach, getting a suntan, hanging out with friends and visitors (although those are mighty fun things to do!), to me, summertime is about change.

Summertime is about changing attitudes and changing perceptions and changing lives; some people find that during the summer they are able to rest and relax a bit more and get some of the neglected household chores done; others find that they spend time connecting at a deeper level with people they haven’t seen for a while.

I wonder what this ‘summer’ of ours is teaching us at this point. Perhaps it is teaching us to take on an ‘attitude of gratitude’ and be thankful for the rain that nurtures and sustains and protects. Perhaps it is reminding us that there are other things in the world to be more worried about than how upset we are with the weather. Perhaps it is a reminder that the One who Creates, creates all things.

This season of change is especially real in my own life this year, and the life of the churches with whom I am honoured to serve. I have accepted a call away from the North Thompson to another church in New Westminster.

This change is one that is both sad and exciting; this summertime is one in which I get to continue rising, and continue taking to the sky supported by a whole host of witnesses: those I have met and those I have yet to meet.

Clearwater United Church and the Church of St. Paul (Barriere) will also get to spread their wings (once again) and welcome someone new into leadership and servantship and the gracious towns of Barriere and Clearwater will open their arms and say ‘welcome.’

Summertime easy living is just beginning, but the changes that we get to experience will be with us for a lifetime. The goodbyes are just starting, and the relationships will remain firmly in the lived experiences of those whose lives have been touched.

Thank you for helping me see the grace of God in this time, and in this place. Blessed be and thanks be!