August is here! Not sure how that happened… It seems like January was just a few days ago. Every time I have to give a date for something, I find myself almost saying March… My brain just can’t seem to believe that the new school year (and program year) are about to begin!
Every new year brings the wonderful sense of anticipation. That desire to see our world come back to life again for the fall season. The marvel of watching our children excitedly delve into new spheres of learning and knowledge. And, of course, the compulsion to create bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils.
If you cannot tell, this is my favorite time of year. We know that fall breezes, autumn colors, and bonfires are not far behind. And yes, part of it is the fun of the sports and holidays and cooler weather. Yet, there is a large part of me that loves this time of year for another, much more simple reason: I love learning.
Instilled in me from a very young age by my mother, seeking knowledge of everything and anything that I can has always been one of the great loves of my life. It was a great love of hers, as well. And, once I became a Presbyterian as a teenager, I realized that we were not alone in that love.
For Presbyterians, learning is essential. Teaching the many facets of life including the sciences and math, the dimensions of the family of faith and our holy book, learning more about other people of faith, growing in our understanding of world history (and yes, I do mean the whole world), studying languages and literature, training at the feet of the many great masters of a vast array of fields who have gone before us – these are all part of what makes us better humans and therefore better people of faith. Over these many centuries our mothers and fathers have realized the necessity of education, and excellent education whenever possible.
This is why we will take Sunday, August 21 and spend the day blessing our children, our adults, our families, and our community as we enter into a new school year. We will gather symbols of learning and teaching, of science and literature, of art and music, and all the varied ways we grow in knowledge around and upon our Communion Table that we might celebrate God’s great gift of education even as we pray that God will grant that ever fuller wisdom, energy, imagination, intelligence, and love will be with all who are involved in learning this coming year.
For our adults, I will encourage you with the wisdom that my mother passed on to me: you are never too old to learn something new. Grab a new book. Join one of our classes a bit later this Fall. Or, if you really want to study something fun, do what my mom used to and ask the younglings about what they’re up to. You will not be disappointed.
Blessings, Pastor Janie