Sunday, June 21, 2015

Episcopal Church Summer Solstice Worship Round Up

Each year I post a brief rundown of Summer Solstice services in the Episcopal church. I marvel at how many churches engage in Solstice worship services. To my mind, this is a misdirected and ill-advised approach to attracting the "spiritual" among us to church. The answers to peoples' questions about the meaning of life are not to be found in bowing to the Sun, the Moon, or the stars.

St. Augustine of Hippo wrote in the Confessions of what happened when he interrogated nature to learn something of God.

 I asked the earth; and it answered, "I am not He;" and whatsoever are therein made the same confession. I asked the sea and the deeps, and the creeping things that lived, and they replied, "We are not thy God, seek higher than we." I asked the breezy air, and the universal air with its inhabitants answered,' 'Anaximenes. was deceived, I am not God." I asked the heavens, the sun, moon, and stars: "Neither," say they, "are we the God whom thou seekest." And I answered unto all these things which stand about the door of my flesh, "Ye have told me concerning my God, that ye are not He; tell me something about Him." And with a loud voice they exclaimed, "He made us." My questioning was my observing of them; and their beauty was their reply? And I directed my thoughts to myself, and said, "Who art thou?" And I answered, "A man." And lo, in me there appear both body and soul, the one without, the other within. By which of these should I seek my God, whom I had sought through the body from earth to heaven, as far as I was able to send messengers - the beams of mine eyes? But the better part is that which is inner; for to it, as both president and judge, did all these my corporeal messengers render the answers of heaven and earth and all things therein, who said, "We are not God, but He made us." These things was my inner man cognizant of by the ministry of the outer; I, the inner man, knew all this - I, the soul, through the senses of my body. I asked the vast bulk of the earth of my God, and it answered me, "I am not He, but He made me."
Here is a sample of what is going on out there as people today ignore Augustine's ancient findings,

 The Paul Winter Consort, with special guest, Navajo singer Radmilla Cody, will celebrate the dawning of the summer during the 20th annual Summer Solstice concert on Saturday, June 20, at 4:30am at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, located at 1047 Amsterdam Ave. at 112th Street, Manhattan.

Summer Solstice Celebration
Saturday, June 20; 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Holy Comforter Church, Atlanta GA
Shared meal, sacred ritual around the solstice fire,  crafts & fun for everyone!

Celebrate the summer solstice with a labyrinth walk at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church,  Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

St. Brigit Episcopal Church, Frederick, CO - The Summer Solstice Service is part of St. Brigit’s A’it Caol series, now entering its fourth year. A’it Caol (pronounced atch qweel) is Gaelic for “A Thin Place.” These services are created to offer guests an experience of God through a unique liturgy, which combines ancient tradition with contemporary language. They include specially designed meditation areas, reflecting the Scriptural lessons, and sacred music with an ethereal sound. In keeping with the Celtic tradition of honoring the earth as God’s creation, St. Brigit will mark the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, as a celebration of God’s gift of light. The Solstice Service is unique among the A’it Caol services in that all the meditation areas will be outdoors on the church grounds, including one utilizing St. Brigit’s outdoor labyrinth. St. Brigit’s youth group, the Lightsiderz, will be assisting in creating the meditation areas.

St. David’s Episcopal Church, Spokane, WA Celtic Celebration for the summer solstice.
Join us on Thursday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m.  We’ll start on the lawn outside, then move into the parish hall,  Enjoy an evening around the fire of prayer, song, and Christian communion.  Celtic music led by Janet Dodd.  A potluck snack reception follows.

Thomas the Apostle Retreat Center, Cody, WY. Come Celebrate the beginning of Summer by joining the "Summer Solstice Labyrinth Walk" on Saturday, June 20, 2015.
Walk Thomas the Apostle Retreat Center's Labyrinth with Labyrinth Facilitators, AnnMarie Bilek and Douglas Sunderland, from 11:00 am through 12:00 pm.

St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, Fairfield CT
SUMMER SOLSTICE SERVICE: Eucharist and Cream Tea
Today we mark the “longest day,” the day on which the sun lights the earth for the longest period of time in a twelvemonth.  Join our celebration of the Light of God, even as we greet the returning of the gestational darkness. A lovely cream tea will begin at 5 pm, in the spiritual company of St. Brigid of Kildare, patron saint of dairy products and dairy workers. An introduction to the saint and an information packet--including quotes and suggested reading—will be given to each attendee.
The Rev. Alice Mindrum has been the Director of the Anam Cara Christian Center for Spiritual Life since its inception over three years ago. She is a writer and stage director, a spiritual director, a Reiki teacher and a serious anglophile. Alice is a graudate of the Yale Divinity School, and currently she is developing Anam Cara on the Road, our new educational and arts ministry.

You can run but you can't hide from the sun...

Here He comes...


  1. Nothing like a confirmed Calvinist and his pursed pouting sneer to kill the joy of Midsummer....I hear the Southern Baptists have a few openings - why don't you toddle off and join them?

    1. How inclusive and welcoming of you!

    2. Well, given how Jesus' was treated by Judas I'd just as soon you'd go away....

  2. Small Farmer in The City's final (and I stress FINAL) comment will remain as a reminder that we should stick with the subject at hand lest conversation degenerate into the inevitable ad hominem.