Happy Birthday to the Courtyard!

Happy Birthday to the Courtyard—four years old and growing!

For its birthday this year the Courtyard got a makeover, and proud Mom (that would be me) thinks the kid is looking pretty good.

  • Our new front page and menu structure are organized to give easier access to the Courtyard’s growing collection of liturgical material.

The new banner shows an image of teamwork – a moment in the making of St. Paul’s parish’s courtyard labyrinth – that melds into the image of a quiet walk on the completed courtyard. The banner’s black and white photograph was taken by Keith Fleming and appears courtesy of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Port Townsend, Washington. The color photograph was taken by Sigrid Cummings.

I love the juxtaposition of the two images, in part for the technical detail revealed about how the labyrinth was made, and in part for the picture of teamwork and other gifts coming together to make something for the common good. That is a spirit that I hope to keep alive here In the Courtyard.

  • The Courtyard’s webmaster David Schroeder created the new banner, made variations on its theme for the pages of Margaret’s Bench and Lectio+Haiku, and worked with me to develop and implement the new look you’ll see throughout the Courtyard. I’m grateful for all David does to make the Courtyard a place of beauty and accessibility.
  • You’ll find other big changes in the Courtyard on the pages for Margaret’s Bench and Lectio+Haiku, both of which are now blogs. The blog interface means that new haiku can be added to Lectio+Haiku more directly as Comments, and you can respond to both the haiku and my musings on Margaret’s Bench through the moderated Comment stream. Please take a look and join in the ongoing conversation.

The sweeping lines and crackling images of Christine’s “Shrove Tuesday” make for a thrilling turn from Epiphany to Lent. Bill’s contemplative verses draw the spirit inward to memory, wonder, and joy. I hope that these two very different voices together open a door for you into a holy Lent … and beyond.

You can also find a circular poem of linked verse, inspired by Isaiah 35 and written by members of the Advent haiku-writing series offered through The Center at St. Andrew’s. To read the poem, go to the Lectio+Haiku post “For Waters Shall Break Forth in the Wilderness” and scroll down to the bottom of the stream of Comments.

Our new look will no doubt evolve in the coming months. Let us know what you think of the changes, and of all aspects of the Courtyard.

My deepest bow of thanks to all who have sent kind words of support, to all who generously contribute to these pages, and to every reader throughout the Courtyard’s four years of life.

Here’s wishing the Courtyard a Happy Birthday … and every mother’s child a Happy Birthday … and Jesus a Happy Birthday, too.

— Margaret

About Margaret D. McGee


  1. Marybeth bland says:

    I love this new design. And is bill Maxwell the bill Maxwell from lacy?

    • Thanks, Marybeth! The Bill Maxwell who wrote the poem is the Very Reverend William Maxwell, retired Episcopal dean who lives in Port Townsend and attends my home parish of St. Paul’s.

  2. Bradley Offutt says:

    Margaret, this is a wonderful rebirth at age four. Congratulations! As my dear Greek friends say to a proud parent concerning a beloved child, “May your child live for you.”