Saturday, October 27, 2012

Storm Approaching

Fall just resting in the waiting
And all of the Metro D.C. area is moving forward in semi-panic mode. The water is gone from the shelves, the generators have been long gone.  The ice is gone, the coolers are gone, the batteries lurk in boxes to be restocked.

And we watch the weather channel, and redo our appointments, and stand in line to vote early, and go to the grocery or commissary and get things we may not need... and anxiety rises.
As we watch Frankenstorm's approach......

Leaves nestle in the red

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lost and Found

Let's just say it took us while to get to this spot.

A ride in the carriage is announced with the sound of hooves on brick
 Always fun to see families on this adventure.

But, before we got here............
We always get lost. We take the maps. We plug in the GPS. We make a plan. It makes sense.  And we always get lost.  That has been our experience every time we visit Williamsburg, VA. Not sure if it is the curvy roads, and turns that make sense in our heads, but prove a disaster in reality. But anyhow, we had exactly 24 minutes to walk around historic Williamsburg before heading back to the hotel to change for events that brought us to this lovely Virginia town.So we gazed at some of our favorite places:

Bruton Parish Episcopal Church- Williamsburg, VA-
guess a little repair is going on for the building built in 1683-
still flourishing with worship, wonderful music and religious education programs

Fall leaves against the brick of Bruton Parish-
something ageless in the design

Gorgeous iron fencing marks the territory
 around this stately house

Wonder how the private owners feel about people
 staring at their house and taking photos all the time-

 Guess they would be be use to that...

And a quick peep over the fence of
 a late October garden on a sunny day

Garden offerings and cuttings sale
 and this is where I spotted just what I'd been looking for---

 I found them.

Some dried straw flowers to fill the container
 surrounded with wire
 and the MOVE MOUNTAINS clay tag
 from Miss Mustard Seed's booth

 at Luckett's this Spring.
 The perfect color.

And so.... the paper pumpkin and coleus and mum sprigs and
 the gourd in the Mason Jar on the  vintage scale-
 felt wonderfully redeemed that 24 minutes
 were worth the effort to see something with new eyes
 and bring a bit back to dwell among our life.

Sometimes getting lost

 is really when you find what you are looking for.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Richmond Hill- a history lens

Twice a year I am blessed to join the Spiritual Life Team for the Southeastern District for a group retreat at Richmond Hill, Richmond, Va.  Richmond Hill is an ecumenical Christian community located in the historic monastery of the Sisters of the Visitation of Monte Maria on Church Hill in the center of Richmond. The mission of the community is to pray and work for the transformation of the metropolitan city.

A brief history gives added depth to the experience of staying here -- even if it is just 24 hours.

The land was deeded by King James to William Byrd of Westover
 who commissioned Col. William May to lay out a city on Richmond Hill in 1737.

Resting spot in the Gardens

This land lay largely undeveloped until Richmond 
was declared the capital of Virginia in 1779.
 Col. Richard Adams built an attractive mansion overlooking
 the James River and the Shockoe Valley in the mid 1780's.
 It quickly became a center of activity and guests included
 George Mason, Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee. 
 William Taylor purchased the house in 1859
 and added extensive renovations. 
Richard Wilkins bought it in 1860
 as he moved to Richmond to educate his children.
  His son watched the destruction of Richmond
 from the cupola during the Civil War. 
 Soon after the war, the Wilkins family
 sold the Richmond Hill mansion to the Catholic Bishop.
The sisters of the Visitation came to the house in 1866, 
following the destruction of the city of Richmond.

Watering Cans for the Gardener
Garden Views

 It became a school for girls
 and they inaugurated daily prayer for the city
 and the needs of its citizens.
The school prospered
 and a new chapel was built in 1894.

The Chapel

Chapel Windows at Richmond Hill

Glorious windows

A restoration completed in 2004 brought back the gold leaf
and the verse from Psalm 127 gives purpose to the sacred space.
"Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman keeps vigil in vain."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Visual Prayers

Just where to spend my prayer time these days?  Intercession and lifting up keeps coming back to the top of the list. Praying for clergy couples and their children if they have a family.
Praying for the church they serve, the neighborhoods they live in, and the towns that claim them.

Where is the Holy Spirit working in their lives?  What are the struggles?  What do they count as joy?

Just one way to be connected.....
 a time to focus on just them -
and touch them with one hand and touch God with the other hand. My husband John often picks the verse to use as the prayer focus. The rest is just freehand doodling.

After a prayer is completed. I make a copy and put that in a photo album that holds 4 by 6 photos.  I scan a copy to use as needed for Pinterest and posting, and send them the original with a card.

1 Corinthians 15:58

2 Corinthians 12:9

1 Timothy 1:14

Acts 2:39

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sabbath Jauntings II

The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land

Actually this was from the journey last week into DC
 and wanted to just mention this beautiful garden
 and spot for contemplation.

Quincey Street, D.C.

Gardens are open daily 9 am - 4:45 pm.

Early Fall lusciousness

He said to them,
 "Come away by yourselves
 to a deserted place and rest awhile."  
Mark 6:31

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sabbath Jauntings

A perfect fall day
On this past Sunday we headed out in the afternoon
 to Downtown Washington D. C.
 to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

a place of pilgrimage and prayer

The foundation stone was laid Sept. 23, 1920,
 and the crypt church and level was completed in 1931.
 The Depression and war caused a halt in construction
and it was finally dedicated in November 1959.
  It has 70 chapels and one

 final dome waits to be completed.

Though our own Lutheran heritage

 was a bit distracted
 by the influence of Mary,
this site is an amazing
structure filled with the finest

 marble and limestone
 and one of the largest groupings

 of religious mosaics in the world.
We were trying to make the 1:30 tour group
 and found our way via guides to the starting point.
 Coming around the corner there was a stir and a commotion 
and as I stepped aside I almost ran into Newt Gingrich. 
I mumbled Hello, he nodded and went on his way
 as he escorted his wife, Callista, to the door.
(She sings with the choir at the Basilica)

That is how things sometime go in this area.
And so we toured.....

A cross from one of the chapels.

Doorways in the lower crypt chapel
The Basilica contains the world's largest collection
 of contemporary ecclesiastical art.
The Ascension window-
 these are all mosaic window niches

The Annointing of the Spirit Window-
Challenging to get a photo
 with the light coming in

Our Guilt on Him
By His Chastisement we are Healed
For He has Risen as He Said
The Basilica is styled in Romanesque
 and Byzantine architecture. 
It is a total of 75, 500 square feet.
The lower crypt church is modeled
 after the early Christian Catacombs.
 There was worship there in the time of our visit-
- so no photos allowed.

Christ in Majesty-
 the brilliant mosaic in the North Apse of the Great Upper Church.

It is the largest mosaic image of Jesus Christ in the world
 and contains more than 4000 shades and colors.
To get an idea of scale---
his head is 17 feet from side to side.
We will have to come back to hear the organs-
 the upper level has 9,393 pipes and the lower has 1.355.
Time to look up concert schedules.

The Holy Family at Rest-
The Flight to Egypt