Mary Ann Welter

April 2021 (Vol. XXXIV, No. 4)

Dear Friends ~ Here in the Northern Hemisphere it is Spring. The earth re-covers herself in the iridescent greens of emerging grasses. Bulbs push their stems to light. Carpets of tiny, illusive flowers herald the season. There are hints of recovery in both local and global news as Covid vaccines become more available. Questions abound: Will our children recover from learning lost? Will lost livelihoods ever be found? Will we ever recover from losing loved ones, over 500,000 in the U.S alone, my 93-year-old mother among them?

December 2020 (Vol. XXXIII, No. 11)

Dear Friends ~ Advent themes swirl in my mind, each an Advent wreath candle: Hope, Faith, Joy, Peace. Regardless of location, languages, ethnicities, or skin tones we humans celebrate these age-old notions in diverse ways. Yet we know their challenging opposites: Hate, Fear, Despair, and Conflict haunt us.

In the Christian Advent story, young, pregnant Mary and her husband travel to fulfill a census requirement. Although angels reassured her, I can’t help but feel Mary’s fear on this long journey, realizing her baby is coming in a strange place, sharing "emergency housing" with barnyard animals. Yet Mary maintains hope. Her joy spreads to shepherds and kings. Mary’s faith proclaims all will be well. Her tiny child comes heralding peace.

July/August 2020 (Vol. XXXIII, No. 7)

Dear Friends ~ Years ago, a friend made us a gift, a calligraphed beginning of a prayer attributed to Pierre Teilhard de Jardin: "Above all, trust in the slow work of God." From a central spot in our dining room, these words reached out to me often while raising a large family and working with kids. The prayer calls to me now as the heat of July and August arrives on the tails of righteous anger, fires of social unrest, and the terrible toll and world-wide anxiety surrounding Covid-19. What can we parents, grandparents, educators, pastors, ordinary humans do for our world's children?

April 2020 (Vol. XXXIII, No. 4)

Dear Friends ~ Spring has arrived in all its glory. As I walk the labyrinth at Still Point, the Friends of Silence retreat house where Nan Merrill's library lives, I'm reminded time and again that "This is Holy Ground," both secretly and brazenly transforming itself in all seasons. Winter was mild in West Virginia with crocuses up early by the front step. March brought hints of the transformation to come. Shadowed by the dark clouds of Corona Virus spreading through the world, daffodils bloomed in profusion down by the pond and at the woods' edge.

Resurrection

Stump dead with rot, sprouts
Single moss spore, emerald green
Resurrection sings.

~ Mary Ann Welter, "Resurrection"
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