Pastor's E-Letter

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The Healing Power of Walking on the Beach

I haven’t been to the beach in a long while. My weekends have been so full of work and “things” that I’ve missed the balm that a beach walk can be for my soul. So, yesterday, I carved out time at the end of the day to go and walk. 

As soon as I arrived and began to walk along the shore, I realized how much I needed to be there, to let my mind and heart rest in the beauty of the sea and the shore which always takes me to the beauty and immensity of God’s love and grace. And my mind wandered back to a similar beach walk one year ago, during Holy Week. It was such a strange time. We were in the early days of navigating a whole new way of living – staying home, remaining socially distant and wearing masks when we had to go out, ordering groceries and take out from home as much as possible, living with the uncertainty of who might get sick and when, and the uncertainty of how long life would continue in this way. As I walked, I realized how hard it is for me to believe that we have lived like this for a year.

But what a difference a year makes. Clearly, the pandemic is not over. But as I wrote in a previous E-Letter a few weeks ago, we can see the end in sight. We can see the hope of a return to “normal” life (whatever that means today) on the horizon. As I walked this week, I marveled at all that has changed, especially the gift of a vaccine that is ushering in a new day. And I marveled once again at the way God has been our sure anchor, tethering us to the horizon of hope, as we were tossed by the wind and waves of uncertainty, fear, and anxiety.

Now, as we make the journey that is Holy Week, a journey which takes us from the Hosanna’s of Palm Sunday to a basin and a towel, to a celebratory dinner with friends, to a garden for prayer, to a cross on a hill called Calvary, we continue to anchor ourselves in the hope that stretches out before us on the horizon, the hope found in an empty tomb and a resurrected Jesus that promises a new day and a new life. It is a week of highs and lows, of beauty and betrayal. But it is also a week that will lead us from the ashes and dust of our lives to the real, abundant, joy-soaked life of Easter morning. It is a week that has the power to heal us, to change us, to renew us, and bring us back to life.

I pray you are finding ways to make the journey and discover the gifts of grace and healing God has for you along the way. I pray you will walk with Jesus to the end. Attend worship in-person or online. Take some time to experience our outdoor stations of the cross. Spend time in prayer and reflection, reading the story of Jesus’ last days in the Gospel of Mark. Give thanks for the ways that God has been your anchor and hope in this last year. Give thanks for the hope and healing that is on the horizon.

And I pray you will join us, and maybe even invite a friend to join us, for worship on Easter Sunday, whether it is for outdoor worship, indoor, in-person worship (please make a reservation), or online worship. The Son is rising even now on our long darkness. We have so much to celebrate! So, much for which to give thanks because God is good, all the time! And all the time, God is indeed good!

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Annette