Archives: Summer Christianity (1898)

The following news briefs and editorial column appeared in the July 23, 1898, issue of The Living Church

The first meeting of the local assembly of the Boys’ Brotherhood of the State of New York, has just been held at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre [New York City]. A move bas been made to gain the cooperation of bicyclists in decorating the altar, by inducing them to bring back flowers from their “spins” in the country at this season of the year.

The little ones at St. Mary’s Free Hospital for Children [in New York City] are now enjoying country breezes at the new summer home of the Sisterhood, at Norwalk, Conn. The old home, St.-Mary’s-by-the-Sea, has been definitely given up, as its location at Rockaway Beach had become too public for the uses of a hospital. The hospital in this city, during the summer, will be kept open only for the temporary reception of sick children who, as fast as received, will be transferred to West Rocks, as the new hospital is called. The new building stands in an enclosure of 50 acres of land, on a height overlooking the waters of Long Island Sound. It has come into possession of the Order [the Community of St. Mary] through the generosity of a friend. The sick children are many of them able to enjoy the grounds, but where this is impossible, the beds are placed so that the little invalids can see the waters of the Sound, and get the refreshing salt breezes.

For several years past, the parish of St. James [Philadelphia], the Rev. Dr. J.N. Blanchard, rector, has maintained, during the months of July and August, the Vacation School, where instruction is given to boys in wood carving, modeling, and drawing. The Board of Education of the city determined to try the experiment this summer, and three school buildings were thrown open on Monday the 11th, more children applying for admission than could be accommodated.

Bangs Lake, Lake County, Illinois is the camping ground of many of our choirs this summer. During the week of July 10-17th, St. Luke’s choir, Chicago; Ravenswood choir [now All Saints’], and the Irving Park choir [now St. John’s] encamped there together. The choirs from the Church of the Ascension, Chicago; Christ Church, Woodlawn, and the cathedral will encamp at the same place, in different weeks during the summer. Bangs Lake is about 40 miles from Chicago, on the Wisconsin Central Road, easy of access. The camping arrangements are entirely in charge of Mr. Horatio Thomas, a layman of the Irving Park Mission.

New Jersey is not likely to suffer during the summer for the lack of episcopal supervision. The bishop of the diocese [the Rt. Rev. John Scarborough] officiates every Sunday in one or more of the shore churches; Bishop [William Edward] McLaren, of Chicago, and his family, are occupying their pretty cottage on the Manasquan River, at Point Pleasant, and the bishop is most kind in helping the priest-in-charge of the parish church; the Bishop of Delaware [the Rt. Rev. Leighton Coleman] has many appointments during the summer on the coast of New Jersey; and the Bishop of Mississippi, [the Rt. Rev. Hugh Miller Thompson], who is a great favorite in many of the seaside chapels, also has several appointments for the present season.

NEW BEDFORD, [Massachusetts] — Grace Church during the summer months carries on a fruit and flower mission, which distributes flowers, fruits, vegetables, and delicacies, among the poor and sick. All are asked to provide something from their gardens, and others have sustained the good work by liberal contributions.

LAKE PLACID, [New York] — A notable feature at this popular resort in the Adirondacks is the new parish church, which is rapidly nearing completion [now St. Eustace’s]. It is the result of the efforts of the summer guests who, under the leadership of the Rev. Churchill Satterlee, son of the Bishop of Washington [the Rt. Rev. Henry Satterlee], started the movement. Last year Mr. George Stevens, one of the proprietors of the Stevens’ House, where Church services had long been held, generously presented a lot on a narrow neck of land between Lake Placid and an adjoining lake, which is not only of great beauty, but quite central to the guests of summer hotels of this town. The church is to be a pretty structure, with ample seating capacity, and will be airy. Although yet unfinished, summer services have been begun in it. The interior finish will be done in the autumn.

Summer Christianity

By the Rev. A.S. Dealey

Those who are going away on their summer vacations will soon take their departure. And for that large number who cannot get away, there are pleasures near at hand, of which summer always calls them to take their share — a call which they are always well inclined to obey. Do not, in taking your allowable, and even necessary, summer pleasures, allow yourself to forget your duty to God. Do not, with your other relaxations, allow yourself to be relax or remiss in doing that. When we go on our summer vacations, we are too apt to act — sometimes, I fear, to feel — as if we had left God behind us; as if he were a sort of local divinity whom we did not take with us to our seaside or mountain resort, and whom we did not feel bound to worship very devoutly till we returned to our homes and our parish church. Sunday is spent, therefore, very neglectfully and with much carelessness, both as to public worship and private prayer. We do things away from home on the Lord’s Day which we would not think of doing when at home. Though Christ’s people by profession and communicants in his holy Body and Blood, we follow the thoughtless fashionable throng by whom we are surrounded, and do as they do in almost everything. “These things ought not so to be.” Wherever we are, we ought, first of all, to remember that we are Christ’s people, and we should honor his name and adorn his doctrine and live as becomes his disciples in all places and in all cases. Honor, then, his Holy Day and his Holy House as you take your pleasure in the summer heats. From him come the means and the health which enable you to take your summer enjoyments. Is it not ungrateful, then, and unworthy of your Christian profession, to neglect your duty to him from whom these blessings flow.

And those of us who stay at home should be careful not to decline from the level of Christian life and duty in the summer time. The season tempts to relaxation. Amusements which lie at your very door, Sunday excursions, a house full of friends whom the pleasant summer day has induced to come and visit you, all say: “Let God go by, we need not go to church today, we haven’t time, there is too much to do, the weather is too warm, we cannot leave our friends.” So, Sunday after Sunday goes by through the summer season; goes by with our religious duties utterly neglected, and we come to the end of it with the tone of our spiritual life lowered and with less inclination to love God and keep his commandments. We cannot afford to do this. A summer round of amusement is dearly gained, if it be at the expense of a further separation between us and God, and love to God, and duty to God.

As Christian people, over whom God has given me the charge, I earnestly beg that you will not so lightly and carelessly take yourselves apart from God and his worship and service this summer. Give him the first thoughts and the first hours of his Holy Day, and sanction, thus, whatever summer relaxations you may feel that, as faithful and true Christian men, women, and children. you can allow yourselves, through the remainder of its sacred time.

Reprinted from The Saint Luke’s Parish Visitor 


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