A Letter from Your Minister
Welcome to March and to a new monthly theme of Journey!
February was a rich month. We welcomed Dr. Rodney Sadler to a combined service in Charlotte to dedicate our new Black Lives Matter banner. We also welcomed Ngakma Yeshé Zértsal who offered a Dharma workshop on a Saturday and a service on A Buddhist’s View of Trust in Salisbury. Bob Voelker continued his “interactive sermon” series on the Seven Principles in Salisbury, and Sam Treadaway spoke at the Salisbury Gathering on Showing Up for the Muse. My thanks to each of you for adding to the diversity of our experience in both locations. One of my goals for 2019 is to live into who we say we are as a people who “cherish diversity.” I’m thrilled we were able to welcome a Baptist preacher and an ordained Buddhist woman in the same month!
Gratitude goes to the Board of Trustees who offered a service on the last Sunday of February in Charlotte and the first Sunday of March in Salisbury. We felt it was important for folks to see our board members in a different capacity, so thank you to our board members for leading services on those Sundays!
March will be equally rich as we welcome back to the pulpit Rev. Kathy Beasley on March 31st, the first day of our new service times. She’s excited to be speaking at both Gatherings.
As we begin to consider the monthly theme of journeys, I’ve been pondering the words of Rev. Thomas A. Rhodes. I offer his meditation words below and encourage you to take a moment to “check in” with yourself in this particular moment along your path.
Our life journeys are sometimes filled with joy. Sometimes challenging. Sometimes, they’re beyond our ability to continue without stopping to weep here and there when our hearts are broken wide open. Life is made up of all these moments. When you are able and willing, choose joy. When you need to rest, choose rest. And when you need to cry, then let the tears flow. In the words of Rev. Rhodes, “it is only through brokenness that we may truly touch one another.”
“And how is it with your heart?
Does your heart feel whole, shielded by intellect, cocooned by reason, closed to feeling?
Or is it broken, fragile to the touch, brimming with the pain of loss? Or has your heart been broken and healed so many times
that it now lies open to the world,
knowing that true growth comes not without pain,
that tears may wear down barriers,
that we may carry the hearts of others
even when our own is too heavy for us to bear.
None of us has an unblemished heart, not one.
For such perfection can be found only in death,
and we who are alive still have much to heal.
So let us give thanks for the broken places in our hearts, and in our lives.
For it is only through such brokenness that we may truly touch one another
and only through touching one another that the world may be healed.
Let us give then thanks for the brokenness that we share.”
May it be so.
Giving thanks for the opportunity to minister alongside each of you,
~Rev. Mary Frances