Walking Our Faith: What will you take with you?
In six weeks, I will publish my last column for the Summit Daily News and then I’ll get in my SUV with Bear and Kiki, my two Newfoundland dogs in the back, and begin the long drive to Maine where I’ve rented a cabin near the sea from October to May.
On Tuesday after morning Mass, I met a friend at Clint’s bakery on Main Street. We grabbed our coffees and went outside to sit on a bench near the river. We both talked of our upcoming moves and exchanged thoughts about what will miss most about Breckenridge.
She mentioned that she will miss Charlie Brumbaugh, the rector of Saint John the Baptist Episcopal Church, for his heartfelt sermons and the friends she has made at St Johns such kind- and big-hearted people.
I worked at St. John for four years as the parish administrator and so I know what she’s talking about. St. John is a small church with a big heart and some of my earliest and deepest friendships started there when I joined the prayer shawl knitting group and the Tuesday community dinners.
I will mess the close-knit group of friends who I join four mornings a week at Saint Mary’s for Mass. They have enriched my faith by their faithfulness, and they made me laugh with their kindness and great sense of humor. We’ve had several priests transfer through Summit County during my seven years in Breckenridge. We are truly blessed with our current pastor, Father Stephen, and our vicar, Father Boguslaw. I appreciate their homilies, which reflect their deep knowledge and love for God.
I began attending weekday Mass on a regular basis at the start of the pandemic when attending the larger weekend mass felt uncomfortable. This small effort became a habit I continued even after the pandemic subsided. Weekday mass became a natural and enjoyable part of my everyday routine and as a result my walk with God grew more intimate.
Another spiritual practice that came about during the pandemic was our Evening prayer group that met Monday through Friday from 5:15-5:40 p.m. on Zoom and the rosary group that met on Mondays at 4:30 p.m.
This group is made up of 15 to 20 parishioners from St. Mary’s and our Lady of Peace Catholic churches in Silverthorne and from it new friendships were born as we members of the two churches got to know one another better.
As the end of the pandemic brought the end of most online church services as people move back to face-to-face gatherings, our little band of prayer warriors continues to meet every night online because we are spread across the county.
Summit County is a place where it’s easy to make new friends because most of us remember when we were new here. This is not a community of generations of homesteaders, it is made up of visitors who come and decide to call this place home for a few years or a few decades until either circumstance or age will compel us to leave.
So this morning as I was thinking about the next six weeks and what I want to write about before I leave, what first came to mind is what I will take with me.
I will take with me the generous spirit of friendship which residents of Summit County offer one another freely. All that is asked of newcomers is to get involved in the community and there are the means to do that for every possible interest and age group. Community participation is what makes Summit County a close knit and neighborly place to live.
I will also take the exponential growth of my faith in God. This faith has been nourished by my participation in our church services and prayer groups and most of all the friendships found in both places and in activities of service to the community at large.
The most valuable thing I will take with me is understanding that walking our faith is a journey that has no end, but which requires our daily participation with God and our neighbors. As we put this into practice, God’s love will fill our hearts and our community.
I will continue to write and publish a weekly column on walking our faith after I move. I hope you’ll join me there: SuzanneElizabethAnderson.substack.com.
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson’s column “Walking Our Faith” publishes Saturdays in the Summit Daily News. Anderson is the author of 10 novels and nonfiction books on faith. She has lived in Breckenridge since 2016. Contact her at email@example.com.
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