About the Courtyard

“In the Courtyard” is a reservoir of reflections, prayers, poetry, and images that grow out of a lifetime of trying—and trying again—to pay attention to what’s right in front of me.

I’m Margaret D. McGee, the owner of this site. Much of the material that appears here is written by me, joined by liturgists, poets, and preachers whose work I admire and enjoy sharing.

If you would like to use material from this site in another setting, please see Use of Material From This Site.

Praying, Preaching, Connecting, Reporting

Here are major categories of material you’ll find In the Courtyard:

  • Praying – Original responsive prayers for use in faith communities, as well as personal prayers for various occasions.
  • Preaching – Homilies and sermons, some that represent my own grapples with text and faith, others by preachers who inspired me and gave me permission to post their work.
  • Stewardship – A collection of original stewardship skits designed to inspire, inform, and make people laugh.
  • Community – How we come together, fall apart, and foster the connections that bring us back together again.
  • Creative reporting on the world around us, such as keeping a nature journal.

My labyrinth path

Here I am with my family in Ohio. I’m the kid on the right, standing in front of Mom, who made the matching tiger cub jumpers.

I was born in Mansfield, Ohio, and moved to Washington State after completing a B.A. at Miami University and a M.A. at Ohio University, both in English.

After working as a car hop, secretary, academic adviser, and typesetter, I caught the wave of the software industry in the Pacific Northwest, attaining the position “master writer” at the Microsoft Corporation before leaving the company in 1994.

I’ve been a writer ever since I could read, and a professional writer and editor for most of my working life. My books include Stumbling Toward God, Sacred Attention, and Haiku – The Sacred Art, as well as numerous user guides and other technical pieces written for software companies over the years. You’ll find more about my books and other writings at my author website, margaretdmcgee.com.

I’m a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Port Townsend, Washington, where I am a licensed lay preacher and writer of liturgical prayers. My litanies and prayers for high holy days have been used at St. Paul’s and other faith communities across the United States.


The Courtyard’s banner shows an image of teamwork – a moment in the making of my home 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. The banner was put together by my husband, David Schroeder, who helps me make the Courtyard a place of beauty.

My deepest bow of thanks to all who have contributed of their creative work to these pages, and to every reader throughout the Courtyard’s life.

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