Today, our Province VIII Bishop’s Annual meeting and pilgrimage continued.  We arose early this morning for another long but beautiful drive to the Utah  region of Navajoland.  Actually on the trip we were in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah.   Our first stop was St. John the Baptizer, Montazuma Creek.  Here we met with clergy and lay leaders who showed us their church and spoke of their hopes for the future, including building a basketball court for young men and women to come play on the grounds.

st. john the baptizer, signst. john the baptizer, altar

st. john the baptizer, mc

We traveled from there to St. Christopher’s, Bluff.  This is another amazing Center of this community in a most beautiful setting.  It is on the Utah Historical Register.  Fr. Liebler came out in mid last century from Connecticut and began a very vital ministry here.

st. christophers, bluff church

st. christophers, bluff, courtyard

st. christophers, bluff cupula

st. christophers, bluff, liebler's fire

We moved from there very far into the wilderness to a small church which Fr. Liebler started after his retirement in 1971, and where he lived in his last years as well, St. Mary of the Moonlight.   We started by meeting in the Ceremonial Hogan where the Rev. Katherine Plummer, wife of the late Bishop Plummer hosted us and guided us on the tradition of the hogan.

st. mary of the moonlight, hogan

We also saw the main church, where the Rev. Plummer told us very moviingly, “we have dreams.”  Here in the wilderness, in such a remote place, the hope and joy of the future of the Gospel is still alive.

st. mary of the moonlight, plummer

and we saw the parish hall, where we said our goodbye’s

st. mary of the moonlight, group

and of course, they wanted to be in a selfie! (The Rev. Plummer, Deacon Leon, Sr. Warden Eric, and Bishop Barry Beisner of Northern California)

st. mary of the moonlight, selfie

This country is so beautiful and spiritual and its people so wise and strong.  I have been deeply moved by this time here.

Monument valley

Tomorrow we will be going to the Diocesan Offices in Farmington and seeing a few other things before we go our ways, me back to Phoenix and then home.  I leave very different from when I came.  I think all of us will.  This is the gift of a new journey, with new places, and new friends who are our brothers and sisters.