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Nov. 7, 2010

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The Ancient Coracle
Nov. 5, 2010

With a Heart of Gratitude
Nov. 4, 2010

Unto Us a Calf is Born
Nov. 3, 2010

Christian Community as Pilgrim People
Nov. 2, 2010

Fiona Reads the Sleekit Mr. Tod
Nov. 1, 2010

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Fiona Reads The Sleekit Mr. Tod

  posted November 1, 2010  

You are called to tell the story,
passing words of life along,
then to blend your voice with others,
as you sing the sacred song.
Christ be known in all our singing,
filling all with songs of love.

Ruth Duck
Church Hymnary Church of Scotland

The tradition on Iona is that evening prayer is celebrated daily at 9:00 PM in the glorious Abbey Church. Everyone finds their way to a favorite spot in the Abbey whether it is a seat in the ancient choir stalls or on one of the simple, wooden chairs. Our first service is a Gathering Space which welcomes the newcomers in word and song. This is always followed by tea, coffee, cookies and conversation in the Refectory. It is a time to greet visitors to the Abbey service and review the day.

After tea I stopped by the Common Room to say goodnight to my work week companions and noticed that the chairs had been placed in a large circle and that the fire was burning brightly and crackling. Folks were gathering to listen to Fiona, a fellow work week volunteer from Kirkcaldy, Scotland read a story in Scots. She had started doing this a few years ago and now it was an important evening ritual for volunteers and staff. This year she would be reading, The Sleekit Mr. Tod, translated into Scots by James Robertson from the original story by Roald Dahl, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

With my eyes closed I was better able to focus but still understood about half of what she read. When I opened my eyes it was to the heart of an ancient ritual. Men and women gathered around the fire listening to tales of the day, the hunt and of the creation of the world. In our campfire space there were no cell phones, flat screen TV’s or computers. There was a large jigsaw puzzle spread out on a table where some folks hunted for puzzle pieces while listening to Fiona. The room filled with laughter and other expressions of delight as Mr. Fox and his family struggled to outwit three rather dense farmers.

I come to Iona on pilgrimage to listen to and for the unfolding of my faith story. But, I don’t do this alone. I find myself in the company of everyday saints who can wash walls, repair plaster and refinish wooden shelves and in doing so build a temporary and experimental community of faith, hope and love. I pray that this kind of experience can not only change each of us here, but have an impact on our world.

Shalom, Peace, Salem


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