Light Shines in the Darkness


by Tom Roepke


Stone carving by Zaliah Zalkind with water from Agape pond and the Cannonball River, blessed by Women Water protectors from Standing Rock.

We felt the joy of gathering as a community on a Saturday evening, December 11th in Francis House.  While smaller in size, the evening marked a return to Agape’s in-person gatherings.  The whole evening had a special quality! Of the twenty-three people who gathered, a large majority were under forty years old and for some it was their first visit to Agape.


A bonfire with an inspired reading from Zephaniah began the evening which

incorporated fire, water, singing, music, scripture, silence, and heartfelt shared reflections. These elements combined to create an intimate community experience of communion with each other and the divine.

After the service we enjoyed a delicious array of healthy food and the richness of the evening continued in a different form. Conversations unfolded about new ways of living in community and visions of what is required of us now in response to the challenges of the times. In essence, it felt like an experience of community building at the actual construction site! How are we to live in this world? How can we help others in need? As Hopi wisdom reminds us: “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” The light of God is within us, so how are we to best let it shine in our lives and world?

A living room songfest followed, with various people suggesting songs from Dylan to the Beatles, to Leonard Cohen, which we sang joyfully together, accompanied at any given time by some combination of guitars, banjo, violin, and harmonica, with talented guitarist, Andrew Borus taking the lead.

The sharing continued the next day, as new friends picked up conversations over breakfast, sharing impressions of the evening.