Chapel Reflections for Mowana closing
For every beginning there is an ending and every ending a beginning.
Fields invaded by a simple flat blade, moved forward and back, creating a space for planted pine seedlings to grow and to grow, becoming A forest with a pine needle carpet nurturing a new forest -- hardwoods replacing the tall pines.
Children growing into adolescence and then adulthood-- Some finding life partners here, Some even marrying before this altar. New families growing..-. Children, grandchildren, maybe even great grandchildren filling these benches.
Traditional hymns and spirituals giving way to folk, folk to praise and contemporary Christian music, to jazz.
Sitting together watching the light of burning candles fade - at the end of a week or the end of a season, is a bitter sweet reminder of beginnings and endings.
Smaller rhythms of continuity flow through and in daily/weekly/seasonal routines, ongoing traditions and rituals that ground life together and nurture the spirit:
Time to draw together in play, conversation, shared tasks.
Smaller groups-- gathering into one - for a time, -- then dispersing again into many.
Oh for the love of Space to find and be one’s self; --and - the satisfaction of joining others to create a cooperative team.
Space for energetic activity and boisterous play. --- Time to slow the pace to experience and practice stillness and silence.
Space and time-- for exploring, imagining, creating, wondering.
Time for telling stories – with the Freedom for listening to the narratives that connect us.
This is a sheep-fold for the flock the Good Shepherd. The week begins here in this corral of safety where the Good Shepherd gathers us together and promising to guard and nurture all; a place of welcome and sanctuary for all. The world away, may be or feel chaotic and dangerous. Here we remember the blessings of the day, safe travel, new circles of friends
The week, - ends here together,
carrying the light of Christ into the Night,
by trails and bridges, to cabins, to bunks and candles out—
The blessings of the week.
embedded in our hearts to carry home.
We Gather in this space for one purpose---to come close to God, as individuals and as a people.
This Chapel is the place where we bring - all we are - all we experience:
Our individual stories,
Our communal Stories - the new stories we create in being together
Older stories of the people of God; woven together as one tapestry.
God’s presence welcomes and holds:
joy and celebration,
uncertainty and doubt, gratitude and need,
with room for everything and everybody –
the sky truly is the Limit…
A simple place, - Rarely fully cleaned of wax on the posts or ferns tended and groomed for guests. It has been our gracious welcoming sanctuary shared by generations of campers, counselors and chaplains. Did we find it important to share this space and our reflections without families? Or did we keep it as a personal treasure?
In this place where connectedness to God, to others, to creation, and to ourselves has been nurtured, we ,--even while questioning our skills and ability, -- We are well equipped to continue the task of blessing others with the gifts we have received. For we learned this will always be a place about beginnings and endings -- the ONE who IS the beginning and ending and the creator of new beginnings.