Saint Philip’s Episcopal Church, Circleville, Ohio

September 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

My babe and I were restless before dawn. We were ready for our big adventure. We met a friend from Baristas, Amy, in the pre-dawn twilight. She just caught us with her contributions for the trip as we rolled out of town. She blessed us with her contributions, and with her gifts to us, which included a bag of groceries for our trip. She also shared of her time, helping me bring down the last of the stuff from our room. Tara helped, too, while Jeff made us coffee for the road. It was a fantastic send off.

After we pulled out, Kim called. I’d left all the laundry I’d folded the night before. Jeff offered to rush it to us while we waited on the side of Route 2. Driving the moving van with the car attached in town is quite cumbersome. That thing belongs on the open road.

Another joy of the morning was meeting our friends from Reno, Jamie, Jon, Adelaide and Erin, for a quite breakfast before getting on the road. When we first met, Erin was only a few months old. Today, her little yellow braids bounced softly as she cried out my son’s name. My son’s question for all of our friends has become, “Do you have Skype?”

Saint Philip’s, in Circleville, was a striking beginning to this Episcopalian odyssey. Father Harris was ready for us with pumpkin donuts, coffee and tea. Boxes and bags  on the Counter for our South Dakota Mission Trip. Father Harris and another man, Tom, were both welcoming and gracious, and soon we chatted like old friends. We struck up that wonderful Episcopalian gratitude and relaxed warmly in the good company that communion brings.

One of the contributions from Saint Philip’s in Circleville, Ohio

Saint Philip’s, built in 1866, is constructed from local sandstone. In the National Register of Historic Places, it is of Gothic and Tudor Revival design.

Built in 1866, Saint Philip’s is constructed of local sandstone

When first built, the walls were hand stenciled in a fleur-de-lys design. It is now being lovingly restored by members of the church. Before the original designs were lost, they were wisely traced by some women from the congregation. Thanks to their good thinking, the nave is being brought back to its former splendor.

Part of the restored fleur-de-lys pattern

The congregants love of Saint Philip’s shows throughout the church. One of the intimate touches added was the needle-pointed kneeling cushions made to reflect the patterns on the walls.

In showing me around the church, Father Harris pointed out an alcove at the entrance. A transient person had taken shelter there. It reminded me of the purpose of the church, and of the sister and brotherhood of which we are all a part. The person who had been sleeping there was gone before anyone could see them, but I can see how they would take comfort in this place.

Alcove has given shelter to those in need

One of the features I loved at Saint Philip’s were the stained glass windows behind the altar. It had that in common with our own Saint Ann’s. The golden glow that came through them took my breath away. I loved laying on the floor behind the altar to catch this shot. The colors are so rich and beautiful.

Night one is here. My babe is asleep and I am sharing our day with you. We’ve already watched the landscape begin to change. The very landscape of our lives has changed. This quiet room is a dramatic contrast to the energy at Baristas. We stepped outside of those rooms filled with laughter and entered the corridor to our future.

When I put on my pajamas they smelled like Baristas‘ cooking. Little kisses, little well wishes, the touches of our friends linger in our lives. Thank you, dear friends, for the warmth of your companionship and for the love you showed us as you sent us on our way. We’re on our way.

Parish house at Saint Philip’s, built in 1917