From the Pastor – July/August 2022

Grandma’s Marathon is the official start for
summer for many in the Northland. This year’s race really
is no different. It is after the running that the weather
warms up, the fish start paying attention, and our gardens
finally start to look alive! Something special about this
year’s race is we had one of our own hit the bricks with
style! Maria Langholz, daughter of Joclyn and Joel, ran
the 26.2 miles in 2 hours 41 minutes! If you are keeping
track, that is 80 seconds away from qualifying for the U.S.
Olympic Trials. To put that number is perspective, that is
faster than the one-mile President’s Physical Fitness
Award, but sustained for 26.2 miles!

Summer in the Bay area seems to go by nearly as
fast as Maria runs marathons. There are a number of
things to keep in mind in terms of the church. The annual
Picnic at Prentice Park is July 10 this year. Worship will
begin at 10 am, there at the Pavilion. Dianna Mann will
play the guitar, and Jackie Ranco will play special music
for us on the piano. (And Jackie will tell you it is National
Teddy Bear Picnic Day.) Afterwards, we will have a
potluck picnic. We will have access to electricity,
refrigerators, running water and sinks in the pavilion
kitchen. So, just because we are calling it a picnic doesn’t
mean we are roughing it!

The next Sunday, July 17, is the Blessing on the
Bay service. We will meet at the normal time for a shorter
service in the sanctuary. We will conclude midway,
disburse, and then reassemble at Maslowski Beach. I
recommend shorts and flip flops so you can wade in the
water as we hear about how Lake Superior affects our
lives. Afterwards, we will adjourn for a dessert
reception. You are encouraged to bring a dessert to pass.

July 31 we will have a talent show and potato bar
as a fundraiser for the upcoming trip to the Pine Ridge
Reservation. I am thankful to say that the tuition and
travel expenses for the trip are already covered. Any
funds that we raise on the 31st will be to assist the people
of the Re-Member organization that is facilitating our trip
and helping the people of Pine Ridge. If you have a talent
that you would like to share, call me! I am setting up the
acts. We would love to see you.

Finally, I still remember running Grandma’s
Marathon 11 years ago. Becky and the kids stood on
Lemon Drop Hill to watch. Jonathon was due in three
days, so Becky was not hard to pick out of the
crowd. After that hill, the rest of the course is called the
homestretch. A lot of strategy needs to go into those last
few miles. You want to have the energy to “kick” at the
finish line to minimize your time and make it look good
for those watching. But, kick too late and your time is
unaffected. I watched a guy kick too early, sprint the last
mile, and then get carried off the tack long before the
finish line. SO, a person’s smarts really show in the last
little bit and mean a whole lot.

We have been running a marathon together, trying
to have some quality of life during COVID while living
smartly and healthily. Many believe we are now in the
homestretch. I hope that is so, but truly it remains to be
seen. Let’s keep our heads about us. It would be a shame
to have sacrificed so much, just
to lose it all at the end. While
you are “kicking” back this
summer and doing the things
that you love, remember to
tend your spiritual journey.
That is the real marathon
that matters. Remember to
read your Bible, stay in prayer,
and gather with us for worship.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Jim