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By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

As May turns into June and the transition from spring to summer approaches, you may be thinking of some of the joys that summer holds. Swimming, perhaps, or the smell of fresh-cut grass. Time off from school, for some of us, or a chance to laze in the sun with a good book. As the weather gets warmer, I find many things to look forward to. But the fruit of summer is a particular treat, with such an abundance of it here in New England.

Melon and grapes and peaches and plums and blueberries, strawberries and blackberries – a personal favorite. The natural world seems to celebrate life with a festival of flavor and color; a shared reward after the trials of winter. (Though this year’s winter was far less trying than normal, I find myself anticipating the reward of summer no less.) The months ahead offer so much to experience, and enjoy.

There is a passage in the Gospel According to Matthew that says, “by their fruits ye shall know them.” The author reminds the reader that the health and goodness of a tree or a bush can be judged by the fruit it gives; so too with people, the reasoning goes. Certainly it is our actions and the legacy of our living that attest most clearly to what lies in our hearts. As you live out the summer ahead, I know that many of you will be away – far from our meetinghouse, or simply on leave from it. You may not have as many reminders of your own best self, from your spiritual community, to rely on. So please do not forget that the tree of your soul bears its fruit in every season. There is an opportunity to seek justice and practice mercy for every one of us in every moment – even when we are on vacation.

But also remember that the goodness of the fruit reveals the goodness of the tree. Go out and taste life, experience the world. Search for whatever it is that you need in order to know the sweetness of existence. We are each the produce of our living planet home. Let us be reminded this summer, that we are fruit of a good and wondrous tree.


In Faith,

Rev. Kelly Weisman Asprooth-Jackson


P.S.: Three things to say by way of special announcement.

The first is to offer you my deep thanks for all of the care and support and encouragement and love that you all have shown to my family and I as we prepare for the arrival of our fourth member. If all goes well, we expect to have a new baby with us by the end of June – this coincides roughly with the vacation I normally take in July, but please be aware that I will be less available than usual during this time. (Though as always, in the event of a sudden illness, death or other serious crisis, please call me.)

The second item is to congratulate the congregation on your unanimous decision, at our annual meeting in May, to become a host congregation for Family Promise North Shore Boston’s Interfaith Hospitality Network. Expect to hear much more about this in the fall.

And finally, I want to remind you that while we have a reduced schedule of worship and other activities during the summer months, the congregation is far from closed. Services, led by members of our congregation, will be held every other Sunday, beginning on the 24th of June, at 10am at Dane Street Beach on Lothrop Street. We began this practice last year, and its a wonderful way to get fresh air, spiritual sustenance and the pleasure of each others’ company. I hope to see you there.


First Parish Church

225 Cabot St

Beverly, MA 01915


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