To dance with the saints

Again this year, on All Saints, I will mention the Dancing Saints at St. Gregory of Nyssa in San Francisco. Because the pictures of the saints dancing together, from many centuries, from many walks of life, always inspires me.

The website contains a link to an essay by Richard Fabian, St Gregory’s co-founder. Here’s a sentence that grabs me – Today St. Gregory’s Church in San Francisco has revived congregational dancing; and in our church building, we commissioned iconographer Mark Dukes to present Gregory’s vision in two circles of saints painted larger than life, dancing on the walls above our altar. While we dance below, the saints dance above−and Christ leads us all. 

When I visited St. Gregory of Nyssa in 2004, and was invited to dance with the worshipping community, I was thrilled, and felt pretty silly, too. But when they asked me to hold the parasol high, helping lead the procession of the elements, I forgot my self-inhibiting nature, and thrilled to the sheer wonder of being part of God’s family- graciously offered Holy Communion by God, not as a reward for past performance or even an incentive to do better – but simply out of God’s outlandish, over the top Love for me and for each of us.

God’s love is real. And we are not worthy of it. My prayer for you (and for me) is that we can realize both of those statements are completely true. Once we take that step, I wonder, how will we reach out in love? What worlds will we change? What poverty can we conquer in the name of God’s love? I think we better get busy. There’s a lot to do.

Bless you

Pastor Patricia