Tuesday, June 12, 2012

eagles nesting in the church

A mission group is coming the last week of June.

I have never been among the people at the receiving end of 'mission.' It is new food for thought --about what that does... inwardly --to the psyche, to the soul, to self esteem.... I have much thought to do there.

--so, then, we are preparing --we have work to do before they come, like pulling off the tower of the old St. Thomas, On the Tree so that the mission team can fix the roof (and foundation) and have a running start when they get here.

St. Thomas, On the Tree, Cheyenne River Episcopal Mission, South Dakota
That is the old propane heater sitting on the front porch --they went back to heating with wood, which is free.... what you can't see in this photo is the river valley behind the picture-taker --full of trees. Seriously. During the worst of winter, between the roof leaking and it being too dangerous between the roof and the stove pipe to start a fire, we meet in Eagle Butte. Maybe this winter....

What looks like a small mound behind the church on the left is actually a rather steep butte --the distance in the picture makes it look small. That is where the graveyard to the church rests. We went up there week before last and said prayers... it was the anniversary of the death of one of the young sons of St. Thomas.

So, anyway --that is the tower --the bell had already been brought down and a new bell structure stands to the left of the church door. In taking down the tower, they found an eagle's nest --with two babies in it.... They put it on the bell structure and called fish and game....


--but to have eagles nesting in the church --a very good sign....

I was told not to worry --that eagles are thick as grass out there. But I do. Worry. And grieve that we upset a nest....

And, yesterday, we went to Rapid and found a vacuum cleaner for St. John's, some communion wine for all the churches, and some other stuff. I don't want to buy wine locally --on the reservation. So, today I will mow the lawn around the church, and vacuum the inside... and make some pastoral calls in the afternoon.

and --just got a phone call from a funeral home.... doing a funeral... 49 year old man.

The prayers after the readings from the wake service I've been working on --some of the prayers have been morphed from the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer:

God our Father,
we thank you that you have made each of us
in your own image,
and given us gifts and talents
with which to serve you in this world you love.
We thank you for A.B.,
the years shared with him,
the good seen in him,
the love received from him.
Now give us strength and courage,
to leave him in your care,
confident in your promise of eternal life.
Father, hear our prayer.

God our Father,
we pray for the family and friends of A.B.,
that they may know the comfort of your love.
Father, hear our prayer.

We pray that you will use us
as bearers of your love,
to support them in their grief.
We also remember before you
all who mourn and all who suffer.
Father, hear our prayer.

Give us patience and faith
in this time of loss,
so that we may come to understand
the mystery of your love.
Father, hear our payer.

Increase in us faith and trust,
so that we may live joyously.
Father, hear our prayer.

Give us such a vision of your love,
such an assurance of your presence
that we may ever have the hope of eternal life.
Father, hear our payer.

God of Grace,
we thank you for sending your Son, Jesus,
who by his death has destroyed the power of death,
and by his glorious resurrection
has revealed the kingdom of heaven among us.
Thank you for the faith that because Christ lives,
we also live,
and that there is nothing in death or life,
in the world as it is,
or the world as it shall be,
nothing in this life or the life to come
that can separate us
from your love.
Blessed be our God and Father
by whose great love
we have been born anew into a living hope
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

God and Father, you alone are holy and just and good.
In that confidence and in faith
we entrust A.B. to you,
to your judgment and mercy,
to your forgiveness and love.
Blessed be our God and Father
by whose great love
A.B. has been born anew into a living hope
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

A.B., go forth from this world;
in the love of God the Father who created you,
in the mercy of Jesus Christ who redeemed you,
in the power of the Holy Spirit who strengthens you.
In communion with all the faithful who have gone before,
in the company of all your ancestors,
May you dwell this day in peace. Amen.

Gotta run.....


rick allen said...

Just a friendly word of caution--there are some fairly draconian laws about disturbing eagle nests. I don't have first-hand experience with this, just familiarity was local press accounts, where, I think, people have been prosecuted for the mere possession of eagle feathers.

It's just something that may bear checking into. Perhaps your eagles are of a non-protected variety. And there are often exceptions for Native American uses (though I don't know that fixing a bell tower would qualify.)

Still, just a word to the wise. However odd it must feel to be on the receiving end of missioners, I doubt you will want to be writing their sponsors explaining that, unfortunately, they seem to have ended up in a federal hoosgow.

Small Farmer in The City said...

I've been impressed by your evolving waking service and thought you might find this Jewish text useful, with relevant modifications, of course...

God, full of mercy, who dwells in the heights, provide a sure rest upon the Divine Presence's wings, within the range of the holy, pure and glorious, whose shining resemble the sky's, to the soul of ---- son of ----, [for charity was given to the memory of his soul.]

Therefore, the Master of Mercy will protect him forever, from behind the hiding of his wings, and will tie his soul with the rope of life. The Everlasting is his heritage, and he shall rest peacefully upon his lying place, and let us say: Amen.

it's margaret said...

Thank you Rick --life is different on the Rez.... I would have backed down from the tower, but I wasn't there... and here, religious and spiritual life is full of eagle feathers.

That's beautiful Small Farmer. I will find a way to morph it! Thanks!

romelover said...

i love your prayers. i love your evolving life. i love the thoughts you pour out about death.

much of this all touches my life directly.

thank you.

may you continue to witness to the vastness of God's great mercy in our vast world.

chrissie...(newly minted clergy spouse in your old diocese)

romelover said...

((and that comment was the first your blog accepted from me in months.))


it's margaret said...

chrissie! --I am so sorry your comments have not come through --not even in spam, because I would surely have found them!

Congratulations to your spouse m'dear --and congratulations to your new role as clergy spouse! One day there should be a special seminar for clergy and spouses about that whole thang --from couples that have been at it a while!

Joel said...

I have never been among the people at the receiving end of 'mission.'
Ah, and herein lies the Mystery: if all is grace, we have all been only only on this end of mission from the beginning, now, and forever. It is ALL God ever wanted, his joy and delight, his will (wish for us), our true joy and our only peace and end, come hell or high water. We just do not want to acknowledge it, better to reign in our lhells, than to receive heaven as gift, Grace. You make me think...I luv u.

it's margaret said...

Yes --that is so very true m'love... thank you.