Letter from Our Minister

Letter from Rev. J. Carr Holland III

Fall 2016

Dear Friends of the Chapel,

As we go into the quiet months of Chapel life and the Chapel rests, there will be some planning here and thus some actions that will see us into the coming season. Many of us will lodge and tend to our spiritual lives in another community of faith. Thus, what may seem dormant here remains very much alive, at work, and growing during life in the in-between. 

The ongoing work of our lives is our capacity for character.  From the Christian perspective, our character lives out the question, “How can I reflect back into life the values and compassion of God as we know God in Jesus Christ?”  Character is shaped by any series of choices made daily.  All either build or diminish us.

No thoughtful person can have journeyed through this most recent political season without thinking on character.  The various candidates have tested our sense of such. Whether we have named it an issue of character or not, our ease or disease is so often around core values which fit us or do not fit us for leadership in public and private life.

All of us carry our own shortcomings, struggling perspectives and sins.  All of us are battered a bit by tensions of daily life or dramatic or subtle choices.  What is less evident is what we are doing to rebalance and shape our moral fiber as we journey through life’s challenges.  This is the work of growing our character, our moral core.  It is at the center of religious life. Our actions always reveal our character, the aim of our life.  There are moments that call us to better choices and actions.

When we gather as a community of faith in worship, learning, fellowship or service the intent is growing our core reflective selves, and thus our character.  We are orienting ourselves by the deep values we believe God is seeking to reveal to us in scripture as we reflect on it, weave it into our lives, and act upon it.

The life of this Chapel and my ministry among you is purposeful in creating a space where we can open ourselves to the reflective work of deepening our character.  Not a sermon is preached, not a speaker is chosen, and not an outreach funded without concern for how each enterprise fits us to God’s good purpose. When we gather, God is in the Word, the stillness, the music, our neighbor, encouraging us into a growing life of reflection and depth.  This is how the Mysterious Other plays within us to grow a people worthy of life.

Whether you are present to us during the season when we are open, or away for a time, tend yourself well in a community of faith.  Let God tend you, planting by word and example the values and compassion that flow from the depth of God.  By your gift of self, help us together be a place where Christian character is made evident in action.

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

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