Our peculiar holiday
If you scan the calendar you will not find “St Andrews Weekend.” Google might offer up November 30, “St Andrews Day,” Scotland’s national day of celebration of their patron Saint. But “St Andrews Weekend?” Nope; we made that up. Years ago. I confess some culpability. I did my PhD in St Andrews, grew to love the place and the point of connection it could provide to our Scottish-Presbyterian roots.
I know, I know—we live in a post-Christian, post-denominational world. People care less and less about such arcane things as “Presbyterianism”—and they usually can’t spell it, anyhow.
But at its core, our made-up holiday, St Andrews Weekend, is a chance for us to celebrate something that IS important to modern generations: a sense of community. Our culture may not care overly much about denominations and theological niceties that are, frankly, lost on them. But our society is increasingly aware of the need to be connected; of a growing sense of aloneness; of the debilitating effect an all-virtual community can have on the human soul.
St Andrews Weekend is a human way for us to remember our past; to recall with gratitude the sacrifices and commitments of our forefathers and mothers who passed on to us the fruits of their Christian pilgrimage in hope that we, too, would hand them on to those who followed.
This weekend, we will celebrate those who have gone on to be with the Lord, especially in this last year. We will celebrate our historic roots as Presbyterians. Most of all, we will celebrate a God whose faithfulness we can trace from one generation to another.
So, come! Wear something that looks like tartan (plaid) if you really want to play along. Our 9:00 am service will include the works: robes, pipes, choir, a beadle (?!). But even our modern services on Saturday at 6:30 pm and Sunday at 10:45 am will have some tastes of our heritage. And in all three, we will share in the necrology (the roll call of Chapel Hill saints who have blazed the heavenly trail before us).
I love this weekend. I hope you will come and share it with me.
PS—If you want to do both—watch the Seahawks life AND celebrate St Andrews—don’t forget Saturday worship at 6:30 pm. We might even have some haggis for you. (Probably not!) AND—I have a huge surprise to share with you at every service—two surprises, in fact; celebrations of this congregation’s remarkable generosity. You won’t want to hear about this secondhand! See you in church.