FAREWELL DAY – SUNDAY, 8 May 2022
The time has come to say goodbye, as our gathering draws to a close. This Sabbath has been a busy, busy day, filled with activity.
Bishop Kristjan presided at a beautiful Eucharist, on the theme of The Light of the World for the Third Sunday in Eastertide. Once again, the mellow tones of the organ accompanied our prayer and worship.
Then we moved to triads, another permanent feature of SDE gatherings, and one to which we eagerly look forward. So silence descended on the house again, as we shared and listened to one another, being fully present to one another and to God’s Spirit.
Lunch introduced us another Icelandic dish – a delicious soup made from dock. No sooner was lunch over than we returned to the conference room to listen to the story of one of Iceland’s pioneers in spiritual direction, the great seventeenth century pastor and composer of the Hymns of the Passion, Hallgrimur Petursson. There followed a presentation about Estonia which will host next year’s meeting. There followed some further sharing about the experience of accompanying people spiritually, and a final round of announcements in preparation for departure.
Then outdoors, for a guided hour of ‘grateful wandering’ around Skalholt, once again listening to the land speak. The trees which were bought to offset, in part, our carbon footprint were planted behind Main House – birch and rowan.
After evening prayer in the church, we convened for the last time in the dining room, to a splendid meal of lamb and, at last, dessert.
As we pack our bags and prepare mentally for journey home, let this hymn by Petursson whisper to our spirit all that we have heard of the Land and the Nation that spoke to us this week:
(Translated from the Icelandic original by Michael Fell, 2014)
At the beginning of the Meeting, people were invited to take a small scroll with someone's name on. They were asked not to tell the person at the time but to reveal themselves on Sunday afternoon.
As so many Members wished they could have come, one was for "absent friends". Their Prayer Friend was revealed to be Una Agnew!
At the end of the eucharist, organist Jón Bjarnason offered a mesmerising performance that accompanied the gathering for a group photo!
Offsetting our Carbon (part 1)
Members donated money to buy trees to plant at Skalholt. The first eight were planted - for eight corners of the cross and eight beatitudes.
Offsetting our Carbon (part 2)
Going deeper - into the land that has spoken to us!
It is still possible to contribute to the Carbon off-setting fund. Please visit the SD-Europe store.
Edward calls people to prayer!
PPhoto: Judita Stankunaite
The Members gather for eucharist.
Photo: Judita Stankunaite
Off-setting out carbon. Bishop Kristjan was delighted to see our donations turned into real trees!
Photo: Susanna Eratuli
Watering in the new trees - Mary, Lehel and Valda
Photo: Susanna Eratuli