Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

Article | June 1, 2018

Small Miracles

It was a small group: just thirteen of us, that gathered at Bishop’s Ranch for our Spring Retreat, which lasted from before lunch on Tuesday, April 10 until after lunch on Thursday, April 12. However, we were joined by long-time friends: The Rev. Susan and Ed Napoliello who spent Tuesday afternoon with us and Ron Johnson, who was with us for all of Wednesday. Imagine our surprise and delight when dear Annie also dropped by on Wednesday afternoon and stayed till evening.

Our theme for the Retreat was “Small Miracles” and we began with the photograph taken by Bill Van Loo at the St. Clement’s Berkeley parsonage fire. Clearly on the expanse of the charred wall is a white heart! We discussed this and how much it meant to the St.Clement’s family, as well as all of us. We found that Webster’s Dictionary’s definition of a miracle is “divine intervention in human affairs.” We then talked about miracles of nature and looked at photographs of a fat caterpillar; an actual empty chrysalis in a jar and pictures of the beautiful butterfly it became. In the afternoon we looked at ways we could keep alert for miracles and also shared experiences of when we know that God has reached out to touch us in a special way.

I must add that we feel free to share our deepest thoughts and feelings because our rule is: “What we say at the Ranch, stays at the Ranch.”

The weather had been showery all day and we took umbrellas with us when we went to the Refectory for dinner. We were half way through when Sean came in and said, “Come and see.” We all went out on the patio, and stood looking in wonder at a magnificent full rainbow with a fainter version beneath it. Was this our own “small miracle?”  To me, it was.

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