The Sacred On Earth
by Diane Waddell
Late in 2020, Andrew Kang Bartlett shared in his Presbyterian Hunger Program news that the LUX Summer Theological Institute for Youth was accepting applications for 2021. Appreciating Andrew’s sharing, I contacted Rev. Jessica Hawkinson, Director of LUX, to find out more about the program. I was familiar with Monmouth College, a beautiful PCUSA campus in Monmouth, Illinois, and was thrilled that the 2021 theme was based on environmental justice.
I shared news about the opportunity to my granddaughter Elizabeth Fite, who applied and was promptly accepted. She attended the two-week Institute, which was truly an exceptional event, and loved every moment!
I interviewed her about the experience and how it relates to the Sacred… to “thin places.”
Monmouth College is a peaceful place. There are sculptures around the campus which are like mobiles which move in the wind and help make it tranquil. The trees and natural areas made me feel connected with the Earth and disconnected from the outside world, even though the campus was small. There was wisdom there. I hugged a tree and it rejuvenated me for the entire day.
I was there within Nature and became more aware of Nature. Nature is everything. We are one with the Earth. No Earth, no “us.” The Earth could live without us, but instead it lives with us!
Since I have been home, I have felt more thankful in general. I realize now that everything is a gift and that things happen for a reason.
Amen. What a creation-connecting story about a beautiful “thin place” and experience where Elizabeth discovered the Sacred on Earth!
Elizabeth Fite has attended two PEC conferences, at Menucha and Stony Point. She is the oldest of four children and lives in St. Joseph, MO with her parents and 5 cats. She attends First Presbyterian Church, and keeps in touch with the many friends she made at LUX.