Many blessings to you all as we celebrate July 4th this year at last back on the block and able to sing again, and—apart from our 9:00 a.m. service—to be free of the strange practices of masking and distancing that have become so second nature to us these past sixteen months. There will be food and drinks again in the courtyard and some customary cymbal-playing from yours truly. I imagine there’ll be a sea of red, white and blue, as we all give thanks for the freedoms and responsibilities we share in this country. America has been through a heck of a lot since last July 4th, so much that it is hard to take it all in. Yet here we are, sensing that the future still holds more promise than our past, and trusting that God calls us onward—not to meander our way into the future, but to stride forward with confidence and faith. May this weekend renew your commitment to the life we share as a nation and fill you with gratitude for the blessings we each receive in calling this land our home.