Today is Sunday and I didn't go to church. Funny, most parishioners probably think that pastors always go to church! But I'm on vacation, and I even need to take a break from going to church. Church for me, or feeding my soul, isn't just dependent on a sanctuary or community of faith. God doesn't just reside within a building on Sunday morning. Walking along the ocean, watching the myriad of people all around me, listening to the sound of lapping water, trees, flowers, mountains, visiting the Japanese Friendship garden and sitting in their meditation space. All of these are things that nurture my soul and don't depend upon my community of faith. I am on vacation and it has been lovely. My husband and I have spent now six days in San Deigo. We did not rent a car. We are not trying to see all the sights - though usually in the afternoon we have gone somewhere - Seaport Village, Old Town, Balboa Park, Horton Plaza, Old Town Trolly Tour, and to a movie. We are not running around trying to see everyone we know. We are usually only out and about for a few hours before we return to our hotel. We sleep, read (I've read four novels), sit in the sun, have coffee, talk and just plain rest! Heavenly. It's a time to refresh and I have needed it! It's the season of lent and it's traditionally time to think about giving something up to focus on our faith and relationship with God. But as a pastor, I give up so much of my life that this lent I gave up a week of work to replenish my soul. This has helped me focus on my faith and God's love more than giving up one more thing - this vacation has helped me realize anew how deep and wonderful the love of God is and how nurturing being away from work can be. I'll go back with new energy, new insight and a deeper desire to find the ways that God is calling me to serve.