Sunday, April 20, 2008

In My Father's House

"In my father's house are many mansions..."
Last night I traveled with several women from the Diocese of Alaska to the village of Nenana, about an hours drive south of Fairbanks, to do a service in St. Mark's Church. This mission was founded around 1905, and the log structure was moved to its present site 50 some years ago from several miles up river. The Tanana River is just several hundred feet from the front door of St. Mark's, and the upcoming Nenana Ice Classic draws people from all over to watch the ice break up on the river. The ice is still about 48 inches thick.

The church's altar is hand carved - done years ago by students at the mission school. The altar hangings are moose hide beaded in a traditional floral pattern in pink and green. This simple church is as elegant as any cathedral, as holy and sacred as any shrine, and a mansion of God's loving presence.

I am so glad to have been invited to the village and to this mission. God showed me the most glorious of places, the warmest of dwellings when I was with them. The world strives for bigger and better but Nenana was warm and full of God's love. An abundance, a mansion, unmatched. May all of us find God's place for us, warm and abundant -no matter where we are. May we find that our place is a glorious, holy and loving gift - a mansion that is warm and full.

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