Greetings from Father Thomas
We are so glad that you found our site! There are as many reasons as there are people as to why individuals look for and come to a church. No one reason is any better than another, so whatever brought you to us be assured that we are happy that you are here!!
You will find that we are an eclectic group of individuals made up of all shapes and sizes and backgrounds. Some of us are conservative, some liberal; some are cradle Episcopalians while others of us have had a more circuitous path and come from various denominational backgrounds. We all carry with us the scars of life, but what joins us together and serves as our common ground is our desire to know and follow Jesus!
So regardless of what brought you here, or what "baggage" you carry, know that you are welcome and we invite you to come along on our journey of faith!!
The Rev. Thomas J. Mitchell
Our Dark Night of the Soul
Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you, remember Christ crucified and be silent. - John of the Cross
Just as the name implies, the dark night of the soul is a time of darkness. A time signifying that our soul is in the shadow and removed from the light of our awareness. It's a period of transition where we shed those things that are no longer serving us in order to step into a new way of being. For many, it is a confusing time of feeling lost and like the foundation of our life has been pulled out from under us. It often feels like we are living in a void where who we were and the ritual of our lives doesn't seem to fit anymore, and we haven't yet evolved into who we're meant to become.
The Chinese word for 'crisis' has two meanings: 'danger' and 'opportunity'. The crisis of COVID-19 is a clear and present danger to life as we know it both for ourselves and those we love. But might it also represent an opportunity; an opportunity to be what God is calling each of us to be? What if the Spirit is calling us anew to be followers, real followers, of Jesus in a way that is radically different from how that has been expressed and lived in the past? The psychologist Gerald May wrote in his book The Dark night of the Soul: A psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth, "We cling to things, people, beliefs, and behaviors not because we love them, but because we are terrified of losing them." That seems a pretty harsh statement on the surface, especially since I long for collective worship with my brothers and sisters. But what if the Spirit is inviting us to 'be' the sacrament of God's love to one another? Dr. May goes on to say, "The dark night helps us become who we are created to be: lovers of God and one another."
The dark night of the soul can last anywhere from three months to a year. We have been dealing with COVID-19 for over three months and it will continue well into the future. We all want to get back to the way things were. But let our desire to return to the old not be an impediment to the new. I would offer that the Spirit might well be leading us into a new era, a new way of being, a new way of treating one another that is more in accordance with God's life and love; more like Jesus: willing to love and die that others might live. During this trying time let us walk slowly with God as we carefully seek out His will. Let us pray that the Spirit will open our minds and hearts. Let us pray for one another, our beloved Country, and God's wonderful world. Be still my soul. Listen and wait.
Fr. Thomas +