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Finding Rest in the Midst of a Pandemic

One of the rhythms of Jesus' life and ministry was after a busy and sometimes boisterous period of ministry, he would withdraw from the busyness to a place of solitude to pray and commune with God. If it happened only once, one could make the argument that this is not a pattern worthy of our imitation. But, Jesus withdrawing from his

ordinary activity was a pretty common occurrence throughout his ministry. The pattern of withdrawal became a regular practice of followers of Jesus throughout Christian history. Last summer, I had the privilege of being a chaplain of the week at the United Church of Christ House at Chautauqua. Having lived in the Jamestown area a number of years ago, I was well-aware of the unique opportunity that Chautauqua provides those looking for a change of rhythm for a week or two during the summer. I was looking

forward to enjoying an occasional lecture, attending an evening concert, and even playing a round of golf as my own attempt to practice a more unhurried life. But what I didn't know until I spend a week at the UCC House was the real gift is the people who one meets while enjoying a cup of tea on the porch, or eating a meal in the dining room. Our week as chaplain at the UCC House provided my wife Roxi and me a much-needed break from the busyness of ministry. And when the time came for me to pack my bags and return to Connecticut, I had a new sense of why Jesus found time to withdraw from his activities to rest and reflect on his relationship with God. If you find yourself weary from the added complexities of life in the midst of a pandemic, I recommend you consider following the rhythm of Jesus and withdrawing for a time. And if you need someplace to go in order to do that, be sure to make your reservations for the UCC House at Chautauqua for next summer. Rev. Bradley J. Bergfalk, Interim Lead Pastor Prairie Village, KS 425-372-8156

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