over the weekend

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this past weekend was our second annual parish retreat at camp mitchell, a gorgeous place in the middle of petit jean state park. we always have so much fun on these church trips. i love the people and the fellowship and the surroundings and the peacefulness at the camp. plus, we have a whole lot of fun. we are episcopalians, you know.

while the camp is owned by the diocese of arkansas, it does support the surrounding community. they have a CSA farm that is going on about 2 years where they grow tons of organic fruits and veggies as well as raise free-range chickens.

on saturday, we all walked to the lookout where it is believed that petit jean, a french girl who disguised herself as a boy to follow her love on a ship to the new world, died and was buried. legend has it that her spirit gives the place a mystical quality. i just think it’s really pretty.

we ended the weekend with eucharist in the open air chapel and we sang hymns to the sounds of the wind and birds. i’m always so refreshed and thankful for these quiet weekends. i can’t wait for next year.

over the easter weekend

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this was such a lovely weekend. saturday was gloriously warm and sunny. i attempted to run for the first time since the hike, but my foot pain forced me to ease up and walk. it was annoying at first, but it did allow me to appreciate the budding trees and blossoming flowers around town. i love watching the world slowly awaken after a long winter. i had a tasty lunch, then i was able to lay out on the deck, soak up some rays, relish the quiet afternoon.

in the episcopal church, we celebrate the great vigil on the saturday night before easter sunday. it is my most favorite service of the year. we begin in darkness with lit candles outside, then file inside reverently to fill up the pews. the liturgy follows the full scope of Christ’s life and ministry, including even the prophetic passages in the old testament, and chronicles his death and celebrates his resurrection. after about two hours, we proclaim ‘he is risen indeed!’ and toast to new life. and eat yummy food and drink champagne. i love my church.

sunday, was slow and relaxed. because we are at church til about 11pm on saturday, we don’t really go to easter sunday service. but i did roast a most delicious leg of lamb, marinated in rosemary and garlic, with potatoes and lemons. sautéed some kale for the side. isaiah got a hollow chocolate bunny.

now it’s monday and cloudy and dreary and all i want is the sun to come out. but i’m thankful for the weekend i enjoyed.

over the weekend

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on friday, i packed a bag for an overnighter at camp mitchell. it’s an episcopal retreat center in the heart of petit jean state park and it’s absolutely gorgeous out there. the sunrise can take your breath away.

i’m on vestry, which in the episcopal church is kinda like the governing body, and this was our yearly meeting to get to know each other better and do some hard core planning and organizing. and while this was really a business trip, there were still a few opportunities to get out, walk around the camp, take in the views.

it was pretty peaceful.

christmas eve

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it’s my favorite day of the year. well, if i’m being totally honest this and my birthday are kinda in a tie for top honors. but really, christmas eve is pretty magical. the anticipation of the big day is at its highest, family is all around, snacks are in abundance, and carols are sung sweetly into the night. i can’t wait to see my sister and nieces and laugh and laugh and laugh. oh, and get into the hot tub with a cocktail because yes that’s happening this year. but best of all is taking time out of the festivities to give worship to the light of the world, who came as a small baby wrapped in clothes, laying in a manger since there was no room in the inn. i have life because he gave me life. and it’s a wonderful life indeed.