Have you ever been to “Summer Time by Lake George?” Every Wednesday evening during the Summer months, beginning about 6:30 PM, many people from St. Cloud and the surrounding area gather at the shores of Lake George to hear some good ole ‘Rock and Roll’ or ‘Country Western’ music put on by various local artists who are quite talented in their own right. About every other Wednesday I join them too! It’s great for me to see such a nice family friendly event with people of all ages sitting on their lawn chairs either enjoying the music, eating at one of the food stands, or just meeting up with local friends. Luckily there has been some great weather for these outdoor concert events. Sometimes the music is kind of loud for us ‘old people’ who can’t talk to each other and hear the music at the same time. Very often I am too busy talking to other people that I don’t even notice what song is being sung! For me it’s been a great opportunity to meet and be introduced to new people, including the mayor of St. Cloud, and of course I put in a good plug for people to come join us at St. Peter and St. Paul Churches as well.
I imagine, if Jesus were here today, he would also take in some of these celebrations in order to connect with people and give them a chance to ‘talk a little shop.’ I know no matter where I go, something related to religion eventually always gets discussed. Some might think a priest should not be out socializing with all the rest at these gatherings, and in some ways, I can’t argue that. Yet, I would also argue there are times when a priest also needs to chill out, and besides, maybe it’s a good way to evangelize as well! People often ask me questions, in settings such as this, where they feel more comfortable. They are more inclined to do so than in an official setting at church or in a parish office. Funny thing though….I tend to see most of my parishioners corralled like sheep in the beer garden at these events! That’s where I see them congregate most! I would like to chalk that up to the fact that they know how to live a balanced life, of work and of fun. I join them for a beer too….yet all things in moderation of course!
If you haven’t gone to “Summer Time by Lake George” you might consider going once in a while. It’s a great way to enjoy this time of year. And who knows, you just might meet up with your pastor and have an opportunity to talk shop!
Peace, and here’s to a safe and enjoyable rest of the summer for all of us!