Bristol United Church of Christ     "The Church on the Hill"
Bristol United Church of Christ         "The Church on the Hill"  

Pastor's Corner


The Pastor’s Pen


A Summertime “To Do” List


              I don’t know about you, but I sometimes need a To Do list to keep on track for the

summer season; any season, really, but summer seems to go quickly. There are some

important things that need to be done and I need a reminder to get to them. Some of the things on our lists are jobs or tasks that need to be accomplished. Some of the others are reminders to take time to relax and refresh. Sometimes, we need to make a reminder to try something new and sometimes to do what we’ve been putting off.


If you need any help making your summer To Do list, or even to just round it out, below are lists of things inspired by Jesus and his people in the New Testament.


Things inspired by Jesus’ deeds:

Visit family and friends; eat together; provide the food; bring the wine (or make your own); pray together and thank God; mourn together as needed; raise others to new life (bring hope) when you get a chance; take a nap sometimes; take a boat ride; go fishing; take a walk by the lake or on a mountain; bring a couple of friends along to see new things; take some time to be alone with God; take some time to worship together with family and friends; appreciate the men; appreciate the women; appreciate the helpers; take a long walk; visit someplace new; read your Bible; celebrate with family and friends; meet and associate with “those other” people; give of yourself; be someone’s guest for a meal; be the reason someone tries again; have people sit down in the grass; eat outdoors; stage a demonstration for justice; show kindness to the deaf, blind, lame, and others…


Things inspired by Peter’s deeds:

Be someone’s #1 helper; regret your mistakes and own up to them; try new foods; tell people about the love of God in Jesus; ask for help figuring out hard things; follow your dreams; go to someplace new; make up with someone with whom you’ve had a quarrel; if you’re asked to lead for a while, do it; try new ways to do old things; meet new people in new places; sing a hymn with others; get help for family members who are ill (don’t forget your in-laws); go fishing; have a cook-out on the shore; attend a parade; go swimming (skinny dipping?); always keep trying to be better…


Things inspired by Paul’s deeds:

Have a fundraiser for the poor; take a cruise; see a new city; remind someone to try the pork or the shrimp; engage in some self-examination and maybe embrace a new way of seeing and believing; write letters to far away friends; visit someone else’s church; welcome new people to your church community; recommend friends to other friends; welcome visitors; remember your far away friends in prayer; go down to the sea; meet new people in new places; stay with friends; talk about faith, hope, and charity; even though you were raised a certain way, remember it is okay to change – remind others of this…


Things inspired by the deeds of women and people named Mary:

Accept greetings from angels and others; help friends or relatives having a baby (adoption too); ask a family member for help; go to a wedding or other banquet; visit a friend’s grave; welcome that friend who arrives late (even if you think they’re too late!); talk with the gardener/landscaper; be wonderfully surprised to see an old friend; show up and be present in the hardest times; bring the spices; anoint the guest (this includes helping to put sunscreen on the grandkids or others); support your favorite religious leader or mission financially; tell others you’ve met Jesus; make clothes to give away to others; advocate for other women; host church or prayer group at your home; love God, Jesus, and one another…


These lists of what others have done in the New Testament are not exhaustive. And I’m not suggesting that we all need to do all of them this summer. But for anyone one of us who claim to want to follow Jesus, these are reminders of all kinds of ways to actually do that. Pick a few to do that you do not have not usually done in the past. Identify the ones that you do, in fact do, and see how many you can claim. Finally, since many of us have heard or read the Bible stories for years and years, try to identify the New Testament story or stories that each of the listed items refer to. I’ll make a master list of the ones I was thinking of and we can compare.


Summer blessings to one and all,