Blessings abound at the Cathedral Shrine of the Transfiguration all summer long. Camps gather to worship there daily, singing joyful, sometimes rowdy songs of praise. Parish groups, visitors, guests and staff gather to worship on Sunday and Wednesday mornings. Campers and other artists go there to draw or write. And only God knows how many go there to sit in silence in the peace of the cathedral with the world's highest ceiling.
On the Feast of the Transfiguration, four generations of Moomaws, Woodwards, and Gibsons gathered with other worshipers to celebrate the 88th anniversary of the Shrine, which was consecrated on August 6, 1925. Recent ancestors of the three families envisioned and built the Shrine and began the development of Shrine Mont as we know it. The families continue to love the place with all their being and to be deeply invested in its present and future. Thanks be to God for their energy, commitment and witness.
The next day, August 7, the Liverpool Virginia Youth Pilgrimage gathered for worship at the Cathedral. The 26 Liverpudlians and 20 Richmonders were spending two days of their 10 day journey at Shrine Mont, playing in the pool, hiking to Seven Springs and North Mountain, enjoying good food and sleeping in the quiet of night in the mountains. Worship at the Shrine offered a time for reflection and thanksgiving. In the midst of that worship, I had the great privilege of announcing to the young people that the Rev. Malcolm Rogers, leader of the pilgrimage, has been appointed an honorary Canon of Liverpool Cathedral. This tremendous honor recognizes Malcolm for his ministry of envisioning the pilgrimage and shepherding a faithful community who brought the vision to life. It also honors the youth who took great risks in stepping beyond their places of comfort to learn together about the horrific legacy of the slave trade that connects their two cities, and to learn about ending slavery in all its forms in the world today. At the end of the service, the group gathered around Malcolm to lay hands on him in blessing. It was a holy moment of joyful thanksgiving for ministry well done. You'll be able to read more about the pilgrimage in the fall issue of the Virginia Episcopalian.
As the summer camp season has drawn to an end and campers and staff go home, the Shrine remains filled with songs and prayers, joys and tears, hopes and promises. It remains a spiritual center for those who go there all year long and for those far away who carry it in their hearts.
By Bishop Susan Goff
Spreading the good news of Shrine Mont Camps into the Valley of the World.
The View from the Mountain is written by a rotating cast of staff writers and contributors.