Peace Garden at the Anglican Cathedral

A small patch of rough ground lies just outside the Anglican Cathedral in Second Life, in Epiphany region.  It has a few benches for sitting, a swing or two hanging from the trees down toward the cliff face, and a few sheep to help do the mowing (in lieu of a parish work team [grin]).

This little park was there before, but it was dedicated as a formal garden and a part of the church foundation and close this past Sunday (July 18), along with other additions to the fabric of the region and buildings.  Though not exactly planned that way, the sign you see in foreground was my own contribution to this plot of land.  I took the texture from a scan of a doorpost plaque that you can purchase at Episcopal bookstore here in the United States, and created a small piece that I put up on the door of my current house, then offered it as well to the Cathedral.  The Committee stretched it into a large size and made it sort of a welcome sign for the new Peace Garden.  I was greatly flattered when Helene Milena of the ministry team let me know what they were doing.

In a future article (after I return from a vacation with my family), I’ll photograph and explore the other additions to our beautiful Cathedral.  For now, you can follow the link above to get a transcript of the entire service of commisioning that was held.  For this garden, the service was this:

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THE PEACE PLAQUE

Readings

Isaiah 26:3-4

Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—
in peace because they trust in you.
Trust in the LORD for ever,
for in the LORD GOD
you have an everlasting rock.

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

Reflection

Peace. Something that is often hard to come across in the often noisy worlds we live in. Even if our surroundings are quiet, our minds are often still chattering as we think of the next dozen jobs we need to do. Peace does not come when the sounds of the world are silenced, though being in beautiful peaceful surroundings can help. Peace comes by trusting in God. It has a different quality from worldly peace. Knowing God is there as our ‘everlasting rock’ allows us to experience peace regardless of circumstances.

THE PARISH GARDEN

Readings

Genesis 2:8-9

And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.

Reflection

Who hasn’t had their breath taken away by the beauty of the world! So many wonderful things are available for us to enjoy: things on a grand scale like mountains and lakes; things on a small scale like tiny butterflies and delicate feathers. All come from the hand of the Creator for our enjoyment. We just need to stop for a little while to appreciate the wonder that is everywhere we look, even in the most unpromising places. If we find ourselves unable to pray all we need to do is look and thanksgiving should flow from us as we observe God’s handiwork.

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