From Your Minister of Congregational Care

From Your Minister of Congregational Care

Dear Folks,

I write these words from a tiny parsonage on the Isle of Shoals—miles off the New Hampshire coast.  I’m honored to serve as the minister for Arts Week here on Star Island this week.  Tomorrow morning, (now in the past as you read these words), I’ll offer the first of our daily chapels and will be available to folks for pastoral care.

The whistling of the blustery wind tonight along with ocean waves and a fog horn from the lighthouse are a welcomed change from the sounds of traffic and the fumes of exhaust on the interstate.  I’ve been told this place is magical, and it is.  What makes it so?  Is it the beauty of the ocean, the rocks, and the more-stars-than-you-can-imagine in the skies?  Is it the people?  I think it’s the combination of the beautiful surroundings and the beautiful souls as well.

It’s a wonderful thing to arrive at a moment and take a good, long, cleansing breath.  When have you allowed yourself the luxury (and the necessity) of breaking away from everything about your daily routine, and taking care of you?

It’s time, isn’t it?  Because “magical” isn’t waiting for us around every corner, but it is waiting.  It takes intention, sometimes, to find beauty, to see it, to breathe it into our souls and be changed by it.  We don’t have to go seeking beauty in far away places.  We can find that magic in the beauty of a leaf, a purple cabbage, the tiny toes of a baby, or a rose.  We can also, when we are most fortunate, find that beauty in one another.

There are no artificial lights in the stone chapel here, so people are given beautiful lanterns to carry up the hill each night, in silence, to illuminate the room as they enter.  “It’s really something,” someone said, “to carry light into a place and then to take that light with you when you leave that place.”  What a lovely metaphor, and what an absolute truth.

Thank you for the light you bring this place.  If your light has grown dim, find some beauty.  Take a deep breath.  Know that you are held in the hearts of many, and …

May peace be yours,

Mary Frances