Tuesday night, we went to prayers at Richmond Hill. Here is the “rule” of Richmond Hill–
Conversion of Life “Conversatio”: Living one’s life as if it were a conversation with God, in a commitment to personal spiritual disciplines.
Obedience: Living one’s life in response to God’s will, in a commitment to the mission of the community.
Community: Living one’s life as life together, in a commitment to shared mission and a common life.
Simplicity: Living one’s life without excess, in a commitment to a modest use of resources that resists greed and consumerism.
Humility: Living one’s life in perspective, in a commitment to assess and honor one’s own gifts and those of others.
Hospitality: Living one’s life in service of others, in a commitment to welcome guests in love and a spirit of prayer.
Prayer: Practicing a spiritual discipline that includes daily prayer for metropolitan Richmond in concert with the Richmond Hill Community.
Racial reconciliation: Examining oneself, paying attention to the particular wounds of race in metropolitan Richmond, and to the setting right of racial wrongs.
Healing: Committing one’s own life to inner healing and to the healing of the larger community of metropolitan Richmond
Ecumenism: Honoring all expressions of Christian faith, respecting in Jesus’ name all persons of other religions and faiths
Christian social transformation: Praying and working for the coming of the Kingdom of God in metropolitan Richmond.
Stability “Stabilitas”: Pledging to pray and work for the permanent transformation of the metropolitan city
For us, it has been a place of healing. We had gone to prayers there several times, but it wasn’t until we had our miscarriage in January of 2006 that I appreciated its gifts in a new way. The day we found out about the miscarriage, I needed to leave our house and so we called Richmond Hill and asked. We had a 24 hour retreat in separate rooms– formerly nuns’ rooms–and they arranged for us both to have time with Dawn Colapietro, who normally works with Noah’s Children, a pediatric hospice and grief counseling center. She provided both empathy and hope as well as a focus on the healing that Jesus brings. We have gone there again for retreats and prayers and always left refreshed and healed. Tuesday was no exception. We arrived for prayer at six with Jack. It always so wonderful to come with him, because almost everyone there know that Jack is our little miracle baby and that while all babies are special, we are especially grateful for the gift that he is to us. Karen was leading the prayers and she has such a gentle but firm way of guiding the time into something sacred and beautiful. She ended with this prayer that nourishes my soul and reminds me to rest at the close of the day.
it is night.
The night is for stillness.
Let us be still of the presence of God.
It is night after a long day.
What has been done, has been done;
What has not been done, has not been done;
let it be.
The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you.
The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
all dear to us,
and all who have no peace.
The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day,
In your name we pray
-New Zealand Prayer Book, p 184