Pumpkin Spice Season @ Missio
I don’t like pumpkin spice lattes. There, I said it. I used to be one of those crazies counting down to that first sip, but two years ago I cradled that warm cup in my hand, inhaled its aromatic spices, took that much anticipated sip, and thought, “This is gross.” It’s not that my tastes had changed, it simply took me two seasons worth of gross lattes to realize I liked the idea of pumpkin spice lattes more than the reality. This now famous drink ushers in the changing season, which is exciting, and that’s what I celebrated with each sip. But really, when it came down to it, drinking those things was like chewing cinnamon flavored dirt.
Jared and I had a similar revelation this fall, one that in hindsight seems like, well, duh, why didn’t I see this before? Fall has become the busiest time of year. We run into this every year when we celebrate our two daughters’ birthdays. We invite five friends to Sydney’s birthday in June and all confirm. But for Jade’s birthday in early October we invite ten and only one can come. Everyone is returning from futile gambles at camping without getting rained out, schools are starting up, and erratic summer schedules are settling in to the familiar rhythms of a new year. It’s a cue for churches, schools, and businesses to launch new campaigns or big events, so from September to the holidays our schedules are full of BBQs, orientations, and harvest festivals. Jared and I have been excited to lead Missio into this exciting season; the problem is, this isn’t just a ripe season for Missio, it’s a ripe season for everyone. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve heard church planters, school administrators, or business people say things like, “We’re ready to hit the ground running this fall!” Unfortunately, we can’t all hit the ground running, or there’s going to be a lot of casualties in the stampede. Unfortunately, those casualties are usually things like meaningful date nights, family time, prayer or meditation time, and sleep.
After face palming when we realized how long it took us to see something right in front of our face, Jared and I are working hard to rethink what the fall norm will look like for Missio. We want Missio to be a church that protects those important date nights, family evenings, and restful moments for this community. It’s still going to be a time for some new rhythms. We’ll be kicking off a new year of Missio Communities and walking alongside Sojourn as they begin a new year of campus ministry at UW. But we are going to shift from a “hit the ground running” focus to a “care” focus.
One thing you can look forward to from the comfort of your own home is a 5-post blog series on Sabbath kicking off next week. These will be short posts with simple lessons and tangible ideas to try out. Our prayer for Missio this fall is that, both individually and corporately, we enjoy a season of Sabbath rest in the midst of new, exciting, and demanding schedules. So sit back in your cozy living room, sipping that pumpkin spice latte, and let’s pursue Sabbath rest together.