Welcome to this perch on the church webpage! As some of you know we are in a transition, moving away from the paper newsletter and into more electronic communications. We’re doing this both to better use resources (we’ll spare a whole bunch of trees and toner ink bushes!) and to place ourselves where more people are seeking and finding information and connecting with churches.
So, I’ll be writing something here on an irregular basis, but hopefully at least as often as I did in the newsletter, and maybe even more often! I’ll likely go shorter with these pieces so they’ll take less of your time.
As I was telling people on Sunday, I spent last week at a “School of Contemplative Wisdom” at the Episcopal House of Prayer at St. John’s in Collegeville. I estimated that 2/3 of our time was spent in silence, working on deeper listening, paying attention, reflection. It was a rich and intense week. And, it’s sort of hard re-entering a very noisy world after being quite quiet.
I also thanked people for building into my compensation some money for continuing education. “You actually pay me to go away… and wise up!” God knows I need the wisdom and I think you need me to be away – at least occasionally!
While at the school I was fascinated by the tree frogs that come out at night and sit on the lights by the doors of the buildings at the EHoP (Episcopal House of Prayer…not Pancakes), feeding on the insects that are drawn to the light. Those little frogs seem a perfect emblem for this place where being still, listening, seeking Light are central. So, when one of our assignments was to pay attention to what spoke to us, to set with whatever that was, and then to write a haiku expressing something of how it spoke, I wrote this:
Frogs out of your trees
Dining quietly on Light
This night is friendly
There is a lot of night to go around. Darkness claims plenty of time, space, people. So, it seemed particularly powerful to feel welcome in the dark, to be safe even there to seek Light and meaning. And small things, small actions can speak loudly, even in silence.
Where can I go that you are not, God? Even the darkness is as light to you.
I wish you a beautiful end of summer and a long and lovely fall, full of beautiful autumn sunlight and seasonal sounds that bring you a sense of peace and hope.