Dwelling in the Chapel: Peace be with You

Today we gathered in our Chapel for our 9am Morning Prayer Service. We have recently “updated” our space with new carpeting and an air conditioning unit. The cozy space seats 12 and the past two weeks we have filled every seat. Sitting there this morning, elbow to elbow in the Chapel, I found is a different experience then our usual church service in many ways.

First, I noticed the warm light coming in through our beautiful stained glass windows. Normally we don’t have the chance to face the light of the windows and enjoy how it fills our space. John the Baptist, Jesus and John the Beloved Disciple stood behind the altar beaming in and offering us a warm feeling of peace.

Second, sitting together as a tighter cozier group gives a totally different feeling to the service, a tight knit sense of community. I find myself sitting next to people I don’t normally get to sit next to on Sundays. The Chapel is a smaller space and it feels different, pushes me out of my comfort zone in a good way.  As we read together, our voices actually feel different. The Chapel’s acoustics are unlike those in the church and our voices sound stronger and as one. Even without music we lift our voices through the reading of the prayers and again I am left feeling at peace.

And lastly, as our congregation worships without Elizabeth, we have incorporated Dwelling in the Word as a practice during the service and this is different for many of us. As we Dwell, we pull ourselves out of our comfort zones and share feelings and thoughts we may not normally have the opportunity to share. I feel Dwelling in the Chapel creates a very easy, relaxed, and connected sense of community. Today as we Dwelled, the word “peace” came out of the reading to most. “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.” Luke 10, vs 5&6  

Discussion continued among us about peace, and how we are comforted knowing we are never without peace. Even if we greet someone with peace and it is not returned to us it is still with us. We wondered what it would be like to greet people throughout our daily life by using the words “peace be with you.” At the end of our service we realized we did not have a point in the service to greet each other with peace — so we added it in because that’s how we roll, and we finished our service with a sign of peace.

I can say, I have personally found a renewed sense of peace in our worship this summer. In a different space, at a different time of day, in a different way and it feels wonderful. May peace be with you ☺

— Tara Gieger


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