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Rector's Message

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Dear friends,

On my way home from the church I always take I-476 (aka the Blue Route) which eventually feeds into I-95. Just before you get to I-95 there is a section where the traffic divides and sometimes slows down, marked by a sign which reads “Crum Creek”. By that stage I am over half way home, and Crum Creek is where I usually call home so that my wife knows where I am. 

When you are on the road you don’t actually see the creek. I’m guessing it’s below the road somewhere. It doesn’t really matter. It’s just a name and it could be called Cooper’s Gulch or Randy’s Ravine and it wouldn’t make any difference. It’s a convenient name to signify either the message, “not long to go now” or “I’m stuck in traffic - you’ll never guess where”. 

I didn’t give Crum Creek any more thought until last week, when I was on retreat at Daylesford Abbey, near Paoli. In the room where I stayed there is a guide to the Abbey, which includes a useful aerial picture of the Abbey and grounds. Imagine my surprise when I noticed the name of the small creek which flows along the perimeter of the property: Crum Creek.

I went out and took a picture of it, and walked alongside it for as long as I could, until the path stopped. Eventually I sat on the bench that was there and enjoyed the peace and the sunshine. I was in a world that was a far cry from the life of a commuter, where you have to be fully attentive to all the crazy drivers and potholed roads. Instead, I found myself contemplating the stream that was flowing beside me. Now when I drive past Crum Creek, even if it is at only 2 miles per hour, I can connect it with the tranquil stream that flows beside the abbey. 

How was the rest of the retreat, you ask? Very restorative. A group of 54 High School students had left the day before my arrival, and so I was the only person in the accommodation wing. That meant it was quiet and peaceful, (apart from the lawnmower outside). 

To make the most of a retreat, you need to enter into the rhythm of daily worship: morning prayer, mass and evening prayer. The rest of the time can be spent in quiet reflection, or visiting the outdoor stations of the cross, or spending time in the unique spring Chapel of the Baptist (some of which is underwater!)

I learned that the former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Frank Griswold, used to visit Daylesford Abbey. The people who live and work here are very friendly. The Episcopal Church has the Holy Cross monastery in New York State, but if you need somewhere closer to home, and want to spend time with God, this is an ideal place to stay.

With every blessing

Father David

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