"TAKE BACK YOUR TIME"
"Take Back Your Time" is a
collaboration between the Massachusetts Council of Churches and the national
"Take Back Your Time Day" organization. The aim of
Take Back Your Time is to draw attention to imbalances in work and leisure in American
cultural life. It offers a special opportunity for MCC congregations to engage in
theological reflection and personal practice relating to Sabbath observance.
Sabbath, Sunday and Discovering the Weekend
by Rev. Dr. Rodney Petersen, Executive Director of the
Boston Theological Institute
An ecumenical witness making a difference…
As we lift up the theme
“Take Back Your Time”, a program of the Council, we note how one man is
making a difference. Father Luke Veronis, pastor of St. Constantine and
Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Webster, became concerned about Sunday
morning sports when it hit home. Father Luke told his son he couldn’t play
football because the games were held on Sunday morning. “Why don’t you do
something about it?” challenged the ten year old. Father Luke did.
Father Luke began a
letter writing campaign and coordinated a public statement in the Webster
area signed by seventeen clergy. The statement “Reclaiming the Sabbath:
Sunday Morning Youth Activities and a time of Rest” was signed by clergy
from the United Methodist, American Baptist, Presbyterian, United Church of
Christ, Roman Catholic, Episcopal and Assembly of God congregations.
The campaign received
area media coverage as well as editorial affirmation from the “Catholic Free
Press” newspaper of the Diocese of Worcester. Sermons were preached in area
churches, as well as conversations with parents, coaches, and civic
leaders. The results have been a greater awareness of the need for Sabbath
observance as both an occasion of worship and rest.
Many in our faith
communities believe that the observance of Sabbath is a lost cause. The
witness of Father Luke and his ecumenical colleagues tell a different
story. We commend Father Luke for his leadership in reminding others to
take back your time. For more of the story, sermons, the statement, the
MCC’s policy statement on youth sports on Sunday, and related articles,
visit our web page
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