Vivian Blair Steps Down from Atrium Ministry

by Ronda Oline on January 6, 2014
If you are a parent, you know Vivian Blair. She has taught your children the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd on Sunday mornings. If you’re not a parent, you may have seen her in the hallway, welcoming the children into the Atrium. Loud and fun outside the classroom but quiet and soothing in the classroom.

Vivian came to St. Margaret’s in 2001 from St. Michael’s on a temporary basis. Jane Murray, then Director of Children’s Formation, who was ill, asked Vivian to take care of the children in the Level 2 Atrium. When Jane passed away, Vivian didn’t want to leave the children (or the parents) in the middle of their grief. Later, Mother Peggy, asked Vivian to stay on and take the job as Director of Christian Formation. Thankfully for us, she said yes! She brought the rest of her family with her: Dan, Hayden and Riley. Vivian took a full time teaching job in 2004 and resigned as the Director but continued in the Atrium.

I asked Vivian how she had the time and energy to teach English full time at Episcopal Collegiate and teach in the Atrium. Her response:  “My role in the Atrium is not to teach, but to present; the Holy Spirit does the work. The children will get what they need from the Holy Spirit.”

And then she told a story about what she learned about the Holy Spirit from Sean Alexander. “Every Sunday in the Atrium, Sean would listen to the presentation and instead of choosing to work with the materials, he would choose art. He would draw Orcs, and swords and bloody battles. Sean’s father Pete was reading the Lord of the Rings to him and his brother Thomas. This went on for several Sundays and I didn’t think I was getting through to him.  I called Beth Maze for advice and she said ‘Have you asked him about his art?’ So the next Sunday, after the presentation, he is drawing Orcs, swords and battles but one small section about 1 x 2 inches was blank. I asked him about the empty area and he replied ‘OH, OH, that part is where I’m going to draw a candle. The candle represents the light that shines in the darkness. The darkness won’t overcome the light.’

Vivian, with the Holy Spirit, has led many of our children on their spiritual journey; including my two children.  She has trained many of our formation leaders.  So it is with sadness, we say good-bye to Vivian in the Atrium.  She will continue to lead other classes and volunteer for projects.  Vivian said one day she would like to lead The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for adults because it has been a huge part of her spiritual formation. “It helps me come at it (spirituality) from the perspective of a child." I for one will attend that class on Sundays. 

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