Date: August 17, 2023
Only I can get lost in a labyrinth. How is this possible? There is only one way in and one way out! As I walked All Saints’ labyrinth after church on Transfiguration Sunday, I found myself back outside the labyrinth just shortly after beginning it. Was I not paying attention? Was I distracted? Yes and yes. Trying again, I walked the labyrinth with more intention. If outside thoughts interfered, I noticed them and then brushed them aside. I repeated a mantra and closely focused on each step. I made it to the center and stood in silence and prayer. On the way out I somehow ended up returning to the center – God’s reminder to me to come back, to be still, to not rush, to stay centered. I needed that reminder.
Whether we are transitioning back to VTS from sabbatical; from a summer spent caring for family in need; from needed rest and recharge; or from Clinical Pastoral Education, serving a parish, or a myriad of other things – we are all in a season of transition and re-centering ourselves to a new year of study. Our new VTS family members are beginning August Term. Welcome! We understand you are in a time of challenging transition – leaving home, a job, friends, family, a home parish, and a life you’ve known well to enter the unknown. We have been there, we pray for you, and we warmly welcome you to our community.
Sometimes we enter God’s path for us and get turned around and spit back out to a new starting point. Sometimes we smoothly find our way ever closer to God. And sometimes we will reach a centering place and struggle staying there, but God will guide us back home. As we begin a new school year my blessing for us is my labyrinth walk mantra: “Dear Lord God, please bless us, hold us, keep us, and wrap us in your grace and love. Amen.”
Talley Banazek, M.Div. ‘25
Student Body Secretary