When I was looking at the Worship Directory in one of the RiverTowns papers I noticed an Episcopal church listed near Afton. I thought I remembered seeing it on a drive to the state park — small, white and red, very near the road. I didn’t realize until I stopped by on Friday morning, July 3, that St. Mary’s Episcopal has such a lovely gardens area and cemetery behind it.
That morning, the recently mowed grass was still wet with dew in the shade of the big trees. After strolling about the edges, I sat on a shady bench and clicked on a link to the daily readings from their website. Glancing up from the words had me admiring the wooden birdhouse stuffed with twigs instead. Heading back to my car I was tempted to get a book out of the little library box modeled after the church building and spend time on one of benches farther back on the property.
Listening to Rev. Scott’s meditation online for June 28, about welcome and a “quieter faith” I looked forward to hearing more.
The July 5th meditation was already posted online when I checked after fireworks on Saturday. It suggested personal mental health remedies such as physical action to “literally work through” anger and frustration. (Rev. Scott shared that he’s been known to turn to old fashioned weed whacking.) Also, intentionally praying for others — which can be as simple as just saying their names — can ease your own mind. And moments of meditative quiet can calm your fears, particularly observing something beautiful in nature.
On Sunday, I parked in the shade to catch a few words of the first of their “Lawn Chair Liturgies” live. I noticed a dragonfly glimmering on the black metal fence, a monarch flitting about tall curved blades of grass, and white sunlit summer garments moving among the headstones.
In quiet moments between all the traffic, back from where congregation members had gathered deeper in the gardens, I could clearly hear individual words of encouragement including: “strength, hope, blessings and keep going.”
When I got going again, I did feel an elevation in strength, hope and life’s quiet blessings.