[RivCompanions] An important issue - please read carefully and respond
bgclick at gmail.com
Sun Oct 27 14:17:25 UTC 2013
This is something that will require a great deal of prayer...and even more
listening to the Spirit. And not the least, conversation...between Deb and
me and the community.
Tucker will be heading to college next year, not sure where at this point.
It could be close or it could be far. However, he is no longer our only
concern. We have Kyleigh and Kason now. It is unknown for how long. For
this one year for sure but we have already registered them for schools for
the next year (simply in case). Kyleigh is heaven bent on attending the
visual and performing arts school here in St. Louis. Kason, at 11, is more
All that said, Deb and I remained interested in living at Rivendell. We are
most interested in the Spiritual Retreat aspect and the idea of sustainable
farming. We are mindful that it was the daily office -- that rhythm of
prayer -- that so affected us at Rivendell. And we agree with Becca - the
Saturday evenings seem so important.
We need to come out to Rivendell to have a deeper conversation and we will
try to do so. It needs to be after the marriage ceremony though. That is on
November 8 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Iowa City. It will be celebrated
by the Rev. Barbara Schlachter at or near 4:30...maybe a little sooner
(hopefully a little sooner). Barbara was the "angel" brought to Fort Worth
11 years ago by the Episcopal Women's Caucus with their Angel Project. She
was the first woman priest either of us had ever seen. :-) It is a blessing
to have her involved in this special occasion.
So, there are a great many things happening. We don't know many things but
one thing we know for sure -- the Holy Spirit is not through with us yet.
love to all -- prayers continue.
* ** *
On Sat, Oct 26, 2013 at 9:59 AM, Virginia Brown
<mothervirginiadb at gmail.com>wrote:
> Dear Companions,
> This will be a long letter--but please don't dismiss it as "TLTR" (too
> long to read, as I learned from one of our younger members a few days
> ago!) It deals with a matter of considerable importance for the Rivendell
> Earlier this week the Council of Advice met and began a conversation which
> now seems substantial enough that it should be a conversation for and with
> all our Professed Companions. What might we do now with our Motherhouse?
> This isn't a brand new matter, of course, but several factors have
> converged to present the issue in a new light:
> - The George Herbert Institute will hold its last session in December.
> While this hasn't involved a great deal of time, it has claimed one weekend
> a month for the last several years. It has been a significant ministry,
> congruent with some of the goals of Rivendell, and has, I believe,
> contributed very significantly to this Diocese. Its demise, though sad in
> some ways, does give us a clean slate, a calendar open to whatever we may
> - Susie, as you know, is talking about marrying Ed, maybe in the spring.
> This would involve some rearrangements, whether that means that she would
> simply move back to the "little house" with Ed, or whether they would find
> another house in the general area.
> - Abby is now planning to live for a while with her birth mother Heather.
> Again, this opens up some possibilities here, as well as, we hope, being a
> good next step toward a happy, productive, independent life.
> - I have been spending more time in Texas, and believe I'm of some modest
> help to Elizabeth, Matt and the grandchildren, during this very demanding
> and stressful period when Elizabeth is still studying preparatory to
> ordination, has charge of a congregation, has three young children, and has
> been quite involved with Rivendell-Texas, being the only professed member
> there, although we now have two Novices as well.
> - Also, of course, there's the factor that Susie and I are, well, autumn
> chickens, and even with Ed's great help with the grounds, the two of us are
> challenged in maintaining the House and its programs.
> So... change is in the air. But what? We're blessed with a wonderful
> property here--what shall we do with it? What might God be pleased to do
> with it?
> Currently, the Motherhouse serves a couple of important functions:
> - The retreat ministry, meaning both our periodic "themed" retreats and
> our space and hospitality for many others, for personal and small group
> retreats. We have heard over and over how valuable and precious this is
> for many, who find this a beautiful place of quiet, healing and peace.
> - The Motherhouse serves as a kind of "center of gravity" for the
> Community. Practically, of course, it's been where we keep our records and
> documents, prepare and send out materials, and so on. I recall how Cathy
> sometimes described the role of a congregation's priest as the one who woke
> up thinking about her church, its members, needs and work... I suppose the
> residential community of the Motherhouse is like that for Rivendell.
> Here are some of the ideas, dreams, and possibilities we discussed:
> - What if some of us (members of Rivendell not currently resident) who are
> able to do so moved to the Motherhouse and "reinvented" its life and
> mission? In particular, we thought of three households who might do
> this, and thought of what a wonderful combination of gifts, skills,
> passions and energy this might produce. Then, the House might welcome
> others--in particular, we thought of mothers, perhaps with children, who
> need a safe refuge and a place to be while rebuilding their lives. What
> a place of healing, with both practical help negotiating social service
> systems and spiritual support and prayer--it could really be beautiful! And
> what could be done with this land, if we had some people with interest and
> expertise in sustainable farming, for instance? We've talked with the
> people who first came to mind, and two of the three households were excited
> about the possibility. However, subsequent thought has raised
> feasibility questions for them, so it's not clear now whether this might
> turn out to be a viable idea.
> - But perhaps there are others... others of you?... who might find
> yourselves up for something of the sort?
> - We might simply extend the current retreat and hospitality ministry,
> doing more to publicize it, recruiting those who might like to conduct
> retreats, and, again, finding more people who would like to live here and
> help with this. We have done rather little to publicize what we
> currently do, and nothing, really, to look for potential residential
> members. Would there not be some who would find this attractive and be
> able and willing to live in this way, temporarily or permanently? Especially
> if we see our sights ecumenically? Maybe or maybe not--but how would we
> know without trying?
> - Or maybe, as I've been thinking, there is some other new ministry? Any
> of us could dream up a dozen in fifteen minutes, I imagine! But what
> draws us? What might be feasible?
> - We could explore joining forces with another existing Community, perhaps
> one which doesn't have a residential component but would like to, if they
> had resources.
> - We could put the property up for sale. Oddly enough, I've spoken with
> someone twice this week who might be interested in purchasing it. He has
> pored over our website and looked at Google aerials and such. Right now
> we don't even have an appraisal, so estimating the value is guesswork. (This
> is, of course, a very tenuous business at present; no one has made any kind
> of serious offer, and I've told him that, although the possibility has come
> up, we currently have no plans to sell it.) We could perhaps talk with a
> real estate agent and get a better idea of what we might be looking at,
> value and prospects for sale. Should we do this, now or later, the
> proceeds would of course belong to the Rivendell Community. (This is not
> to be confused with dissolution of the Community; the Community would then
> decide what to do with the funds--perhaps begin something new elsewhere.)
> So...As Guardian of this Community I am asking you earnestly to pray about
> this, and also to share your thoughts and ideas. For now, let's keep the
> conversation on *this* list, among the Professed Companions, who would be
> the ones to make such decisions.
> Much love to all,
> RivCompanions mailing list
> RivCompanions at justus.anglican.org
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