Unlike Garrison Keilor who says, "It's been a quiet week in Lake Woebegone," it has been a busy couple of weeks in preparation for today, the day the sabbatical begins. Last weekend we had our annual celebration of the Holy Eucharist at St. Alban's Chapel in the Snowy Range. From 10,000 feet, looking across the Laramie Valley and up to Medicine Bow Peak, it is a spectacular place to worship. Quoting the lovely Wyoming liturgy written by Linen Greenough, "We thank you that we live in a place where the glorious revelation of yourself is all around us. The prairie bursts with song from wind and birds and waving grasses. The abundance of animals roaming freely reminds us of our own freedom, and the many ways you provide sustenance in your kingdom. From the depths of the ocean floor you lifted your massive mountains and pointed them toward the heavens. We, like your son our Lord, are called to these high places to get away and rest in communion with you. We marvel as we wander through stately pines and twirling aspen along the creeks, where trout dance on their tails above the rocks, and deer and elk sip from the water's edge; and we remember that you have given us the Living Water to quench our thirst. Our spirit is refreshed and our strength renewed.
We welcome the passing of seasons in broad circles of time, with anticipation of new things to come, and we recognize that same feeling of hope that encircles our faith. Our lives are lived between sunrises and sunsets and brilliant colors. But at night the limitless stars have a way of pushing back the boundaries of our lives and we dream of heaven and your wonder."
After a summer of worshiping in the undercroft, it was a joy to have so much space around us and then to gather up around the table as close as we possibly could to celebrate the holy mysteries.
The rest of the week included numerous meetings to iron out details concerning my absence. It is so good that a number of folks in the congregation are stepping up to the plate to see that everything gets done. I know that this sabbatical time is an opportunity for us all to grow in faith and to experience new ways in which God takes care of us and guides us to serve one another in God's name. In just a few moments the Wardens and I will meet with Father Tom who will be offering pastoral care while I'm away; then I turn over the keys to the church and my home and hit the road on this adventure to taste and see that the Lord is good.