The Days Lengthen, The Life Grows
The following letter from Wallace+ appears in the April/May 2011 Epistle newsletter:
My Dear People,
The days are lengthening indeed, and we are ready, ready for the deepening of spring and the coming of Easter, any day now.
Hildegard of Bingen, a twelfth-century German mystic and abbess, wrote of viriditas, which can be translated literally as “greenness.”
She celebrated the fresh, vital, creative energies of God forever at work in the world around us and in our lives. And, by her witness, Hildegard calls us, as well, to be on the look-out for and open to the new life bursting forth each day.
As our eyes sweep the landscape of St. Paul’s, we do indeed see new and renewed life; we see greenness, we see viriditas, we see life, the life of Christ manifest in our community:
In the kind and cheerful hospitality shown to the thousands who have joined us during Lent this year, for the Lenten Lunches and the Lenten Preaching Series, and in the truly powerful, affecting preaching we have heard;
In our continuing and growing relationship with the village of Mwitikira and the people of the Diocese of Central Tanganyika, with Will Brooks, Roger Whitfield, and others showing us what true servant leadership is;
In the Covenant Groups we’ve had this winter and spring, Caring Companions, the Seekers’ Path, the Women’s Spirituality Group, the Sunflower Group, where, through these small-group experiences, relationships and reflections have deepened;
In the devoted service of the likes of Christie Montgomery, Sue Bland, Bruce Cruser, Missy Benson and others, including our Youth Mentors and Sunday School Teachers, who have gone the extra mile during a time of staff transitions;
In the generous giving by the people of St. Paul’s, through our annual pledge canvass, during a time when resources are stretched more than usual;
In our youth, as they prepare for another pilgrimage this summer, to San Francisco, and as they continue to grow in faith and in community together, waiting patiently for the calling of a new youth minister;
In the dedicated and prayerful work, done by our Vestry and others, during a tight budget year, to arrive at the best and most faithful way forward regarding staffing and resources;
In our Emmaus feeding ministry, with Jenny Bliley ably overseeing a whole cadre of individuals and groups (Radio One, Bank of America, and others) who want to be a part of what happens every Thursday at St. Paul’s;
In the coming of another Earth Day, as we consider more closely and deeply, with special guest Bonnie Anderson's help, what it means to be good stewards of the Creation God has entrusted to us;
In the coming of a summer seminarian, Andrew Terry, who will be with us from mid-May through mid-August, worshiping with us, and exploring with us life, and faith, and downtown Richmond;
And, and, and...we could indeed go on and on, each of us, as we recognize and celebrate the life, the viriditas, the greenness, in us, in the community that is St. Paul’s Church!
With great thanks for the life we share in Christ, your brother,