Summer at last…

The official start of summer began on Tuesday – with both the Newman Center and St. Ann school being done for the semester. (UMSL does have summer classes, but the student load is much smaller than the spring and fall semesters.) That is the good news. The bad news is that I feel like I am already behind on my summer ‘to do’ list.

Some of you may know that Rachelle Simon, the Newman Center campus minister, is leaving by the end of summer to pursue a degree in Theology from Boston College. I am thrilled for her and the full ride scholarship she earned, but am extremely sad for both the Newman Center and myself. She has been an amazing gift these past three years, both to the students and to me. Keep our discernment in your prayers. We are in the final stages of the interviewing process, down to our top three choices. Pray for the Spirit’s guidance to discern who God wants us to fill her position as Campus Minister.

It is summer at last in another way, as well. Though it is not the record heat that we saw last spring and early summer, the temperature is steadily rising as it is wont to do this time of year. So here is what I know about the St. Ann church air conditioning unit. There is a six degree differential from the coldest temperature and the warmest temperature on the setting dial. So, with the thermostat set at 72, the temperature actually rises to 74 before the compressors kick in and cools the church to 68 degrees before turning off. For most people, that set of temperatures seems to work pretty well.

But what I also know about our church is that not all spots are created equal. The coldest pews in the church are the bank of pews right in front of my Presider’s chair. The cold air blows directly down on those pews. (That is why you only see the warm blooded folks sitting there during the summer, and why I sometimes shake my head wondering whose idea it was to situate the handicapped access pew at that spot.) The two warmest areas are on the farthest East (post office) side – up front where the choir stands, and in those back 3-4 pews. The ventilation does not re-circulate the air at those places with the same efficiency as the rest of the church.

Though I know people are accustomed to “their pew” but, if you tend to run hot, rather than sit in the hottest area of the church and fan yourself all through mass, you may want to take a walk to the ‘cooler part’ of the church. Likewise, if you tend to be cold, you may want to choose a warmer part of the church during these summer days. You’ll be able to regulate YOUR comfort level better, and, as an added bonus, get to meet some of the other wonderful parishioners in our parish.