September – From the Minister

The Sanctuary is quiet as I write this afternoon, nothing moving in the woods beyond the great window facing east, the steady oaks and cottonwood still sparkling from the drenching rain that came at last this morning. No deer today, no Cooper’s Hawk, none of the monarchs that have come back to us in golden clouds this summer, flashing hope around the milkweed near the stream. It’s quiet here today, as if the house were waiting for its people to come home.

The room is rarely empty, though, even in the summer now, this sacred space we cherish, this home we call our own. Yesterday guests gathered here all day for a mindfulness retreat with Buddhist monks from Plum Village; the day before the room was filled to overflowing for a funeral, the gracious walls holding safe the people’s sadness for a man who died too young. Weddings filled the space all summer, and memorials, and a fancy quinceañera for a shy 15 year old, whose congregation from St. Paul said, Thank you. Gracias. God bless you a hundred times that day for the simple welcome that they found here. De nada, we said. It’s the least we can do—and that’s the truth, in fact. What else could our space be for, than to be filled with life and love and celebration? Piano students sneaking in to practice. The drumming circle once a month on Tuesday nights, inviting all the stone and wood and glass to echo back the beat. Solitary meditators at all times of day. And on summer Sunday mornings, the powerful voices of guest ministers, seminary students, music, joined in August by the strong and steady presence of Sara—your new minister. The space holds all of this, all of us, and more: the memories, dreams, and wonder of a gathered people.

The Sanctuary is our refuge, our safe harbor, and the point of departure for lives called to service and gladness and hope. Here we rest and restore and replenish, we renew our commitment to sacred resistance, and our covenants with one another and with all that’s sacred.

Welcome home. Welcome back. Come, come, whoever you are – ours is no caravan of despair, but a house of hope and history, made holy by your presence.

With gratitude and love, Victoria