Nearing the end of our Shrine Mont retreat, I grabbed a cup of coffee early Sunday morning and headed into the woods to walk a bit and gather my thoughts for the impending service in the shrine. I passed the labyrinth and the stations of the cross and decided that I had enough time to reach the cross (located atop a tower on the mountain’s peak). It’s not a long hike, but you get high enough to look over the tree line at the valley below. Reaching the summit, I enjoyed a gentle breeze and the last sip of now barely lukewarm coffee, looked over the valley, and was struck by juxtaposing revelations.
I must begin by telling you, facetiously of course, a piece of my upbringing.
As many of you already know it was in a very rural area of Central Pennsylvania, and because of such, I’ve come to loathe the “legendary fur-ball” of Gobbler’s Knob; Punxsutawney Phil. It is this year however, with his measly 39% accuracy rating engraved in the back of my mind that I am hoping, more than ever, that he is right and an early spring is on the horizon.
This is not necessarily because spring is my favorite season, which is just so happens to be, but more so because all we have on the horizon here at Saint James’ in the next several months, including the spring season.
We will soon gather to celebrate the glorious resurrection of our Savior, and in doing so will be moving ever so quickly toward the new season, the bloom of daffodils and the smell of fresh cut grass. That’s when our opportunities to be involved in various events and activities expands enormously.
Focusing first for a moment on the new: we are very blessed and excited to welcome Mrs. April Walker to the staff at Saint James’ as our Assistant to the Director of Family Ministries. April will be assisting me, on a part-time basis, with various Christian Education and Family Ministry opportunities. When you see her on Sundays, please take a moment to welcome her aboard!
Then as we move deeper into spring and toward early summer, the children, youth and adults of the parish will have wonderful opportunities to visit my absolute favorite place in The Diocese of Virginia – outside of Saint James’ of course – Shrine Mont. Please see the dates and brief info below, feel free to call or email me with any questions, and contact us to sign up today. Registration forms for youth events at Shrine Mont are available here.