I miss Ellen Smith. Sometimes so much so, my heart aches. One of her paintings (the most beautiful, I believe) hangs in my dining room. I see it continually, giving thanks for the blessing of knowing her. Ellen had the remarkable ability of genuinely loving people with sincerity, honesty and joy. She was always kind, always hopeful, and when she prayed with you, it seemed the earth stopped for a moment while the Lord listened.
I met Ellen at the Wednesday noon Eucharist after my youngest daughter, Chapel, was born. I loved coming to the Cathedral for weekday Eucharist with Dean Littleford (1914 - 1999) and Ellen. Members of the Order of St. Luke, they would meet every Wednesday morning and pray through the list of people asking for healing. Dean Littleford would pray over the list of names at noon, placing his hand on the paper during Prayers of the People.
In 1998, Ellen approached me with a question, “Would you put together a group to pray especially for expectant parents and unborn children?” This was not a question. The only reasonable response to Ellen was, “Yes, ma’am.” As a mom with two young children, I organized the prayer group so members could pray at whatever time was best for their schedule. We receive updates to our list through email and pray independently. Our group is small but devoted. I once met Neide Nantkes unexpectedly in an airport in Nashville. From her purse, she pulled out her list of expectant parents. She takes it everywhere.
Ellen’s prayer legacy lives on as The Order of Saint Luke continues quietly, reverently, and faithfully to pray and intercede for those who ask for healing. Shepherded now by our Deacon Carolyn Petersen, you’ll find the prayer ministers every Sunday in St. Mary’s Chapel and the Resurrection Chapel. Their prayers are sweet, and holy, and constant.
Ashlie Darley, Librarian
The Yergey Library
If you're interested in becoming a prayer minister at the Cathedral, or a member of The Order of St. Luke, contact Theo for more information.