Letter from Our Minister

Letter from Rev. J. Carr Holland III

Summer 2017

Dear Friends of the Chapel,

Another season has come to us at the Chapel. Winter has passed and the promise of summer is here. We gather again in this sacred space we simply call “the Chapel.” In so many ways we come home here, on the Island, in the Chapel. We come to shift gears, to slow a little perhaps, or to engage in activities of pleasure but also meaning. We make meaning by what we open ourselves to learn, to hear, to hope.

Lately I have wondered “Are we more anxious now than a year or so ago?” Or is it that different voices of anxiety have assumed more space on the airwaves, or in speech, or in print? How much do we listen and how much do we talk over each other now? Do we listen for an eternal voice amidst the many voices? Do we listen for the softer voice of God that seems to wait for our chatter to calm, and only then speak inwardly?

In the months of October through May one of my ministries is to tend to the lives of pre-school children. Maybe that is why I hear so deeply this Stephen Sondheim Song Children Will Listen: “Careful the things you say Children will listen Careful the things you do Children will see and learn Children may not obey, but Children will listen Children will look to you for which way to turn.”

While this is a song about children in adult care, it is easy to see that it applies to the child of God we each are. Many voices push at us. Which ones claim us?

It is by care with our speech, our actions, our hopes that we seek to be informed and shaped when we come into the presence of God and each other. We shape all these as we pray, open scripture, embrace song, notice the lives near us, think of or pray for those not present. In a true sense, we seek to soften enough for God to mold us into people beautiful to the eye of God. We open ourselves to the intentions of God who we know best in Jesus Christ. The purpose of worship is to open us, soften us, repair us and return us to a world needing our actions of care.

As you read the newsletter, you will find times to try on various forms of worship, to experience fellowship and to grow your mind and heart. Perhaps you will even lay down a bit of anxiety. You will learn both here, and when we gather, ways to be involved more deeply in life of the Chapel and beyond. They share a pur-pose, to help us shift into a deeper mode of listening, thus grow our mind, center our spirit or enlarge our heart, find meaningful ac-tions.

We hope that each individ-ual or family who visits this Chapel and its grounds, whether for the first time or the hundredth, will find a place here to listen deeply and find refreshment of spir-it. May you find a space where you are at home.

In Christ’s love,
The Rev. J. Carr Holland III

Read more about the leadership at Siasconset Union Chapel
Return to homepage