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A Message from Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty

image014What a beautiful day. The snow is falling, there are no cars on the road, and besides shoveling to keep the front door open, I am thinking of First Parish and the coming weeks/months. It is amazing how fast the fall and holidays flew by and it is these next months of February, March and April that remind us what being a New Englander is really all about. I have been thinking a bit about our forbears over the last few days in preparation for this storm. I have been thinking about how the early settlers did not have a weather channel or radio to warn them about such storms. They did not have large-scale grocery stores or traffic bans. They faced the weather that came day in and day out and they always had to be prepared. They woke early to a cold house, broke the ice on the buckets of water in the barn and fed the livestock, they made cheese and bread and went to the root cellar when they needed provisions. They hitched up their horses to sleighs when the snow was deep and cut a track from their hearth to the meetinghouse. My guess is that they probably had more consistent snow, but with climate change the weather has become less predictable. I am guessing that our forbears had a less complex life without the Internet or cable television and yet they had a life that was filled with work and prayer. I am guessing that when they saw snow like we see today they would pray and build up the fire and ration the oil for the lamps. We are so blessed today, there is something comforting in being able to turn that thermostat dial. Yet yesterday I made sure that I had enough candles and wood just in case and I prayed (seeded the universe with intention) for the safety of us all.

 

Friends, as the snow falls and is cleaned up over the next few days I invite you to think about the coming months at First Parish and how you would like to be more involved in a community that endeavors to bring meaning into our lives. I invite you over the next few months to engage deeply and to participate in the offerings that we will be sharing outside of Sunday mornings at First Parish. (See list at top of this Connector.) Consider attending the Seekers Potlucks (held the first Saturday of every month), engage in the sessions on Journey of Discovery (listed on the FPS calendar), and read/discuss the book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande. This is one of the books that I am currently reading, which I find truly thought provoking. Gawande, a surgeon (at Brigham and Women’s Hospital) and a writer (at the New Yorker) explains that, “We’ve been wrong about what our job is in medicine. We think. . .[it] is to ensure health and survival. But really. . . it is to enable well-being. And well-being is about the reasons one wishes to be alive.”

 

As we consider the First Parish community and the wishes for our lives, in contrast to those who gathered 375 years ago, I would like to remind us of how much we have to be thankful for: we are not struggling to survive on the frontier, we are thriving and we have good news and community care to share with those who find their way to our meetinghouse. Let us be bold enough to invite in the newcomer and the stranger. Let us revel in how far we have come in these 375 years and imagine where we would like our adventure to take us from here, what meaning we would like to make, what legacy would we like to leave? Let us take stock and plan for our future together. Be safe as the storm rages and know that you are never far from my thoughts. Peace and Love, Rev. Marjorie