March 26, 2020
Dear Members and Friends,
It’s a beautiful sky blue day in Boothbay Harbor with a gentle breeze. We hope that today you have the chance perhaps to step outside, go for a walk, or look out the window.
Look for as well a call from one of our church cluster leaders who will be checking in with you about joining a small group so that together we can support, care and pray for each other.
One thing that can help make it through challenging times is hearing words of faith, hope and love from each other. So grateful to Rick Humphrey offering an encouraging word for today:
"I thought I would share this with you in the hopes that in bring some comfort in this stressful time. This took place on Saturday 3/21/20 at Ocean Point.
When I was learning to sail, I was racing a 22 ft Ensign’s, a delightful sailing well designed good old boat, a full keeled Carl Alberg Design. My mentor and captain, being an old salty dog, taught me many things during those couple of years we raced together. One of those things was how to find the wind in absence of any other instruments. He taught me to stand where I could feel the wind on my face and then adjust my neck until the sound of the wind was exactly equal in both ears. Once I learned this, he blindfolded me and handed me the tiller. With a fair degree of apprehension, I took the tiller. What an interesting experience having to rely completely on sense of hearing and feeling the motion of the boat. I’ll never forget it. I did well, everyone that came out returned, no broken masts, no rocks, nobody got hit by the boom in an accidental jibe. Of course, we were out in opened water nowhere near any of those hazards, and on a close reach and only came about a few times. I was shocked that we remained on a close reach when the blindfold was removed.
This Saturday I was getting restless and so I drove out to Ocean Point for some fresh air. While I was standing out on my favorite ledge at the edge of the sea, I did 5 of the breathing exercises we were shown. Take a deep breath while extending your arms fully, breath out slowly while retracting your arms. For me, this releases a tremendous amount of stress. There was quite a stiff breeze, so I started looking for the wind direction. As it turns out the wind was coming from the West across Southport. It was strong probably about 20 knots. It felt great, I could lean forward a little bit and let the wind just hold me there, loved it. At that moment I was reminded of the recent Sunday morning messages.
I was reminded of the things we have been discussing, one being that in these unsettling times it is important to shake the stress off and to prepare to listen. I don’t know about you, but many times in my life when there is some new venture there come two voices, the voice of fear and the hopeful adventurous, positive voice. Unfortunately, for me most times the fear voice wins, and I’m left stuck at the mooring.
When God’s voice the hopeful, adventurous, positive one wins, it is usually after much quiet listening and waiting for clarity. In my case, the minutest distraction will take me off course heading toward fear. For me to move, there must also be a letting go of my need to know the outcome before the start, which is so contrary to my nature.
In this moment the listening began after the breathing exercises and while finding where the sound is equal in both ears. At that moment I drew a parallel between the true wind direction and God’s true voice. There was only one voice equal in both ears, just like the sound of the wind. There was no division between fear and faith. An assurance that the wind would hold me and keep me from falling.
This was a time of great restoration for me and I felt close to God. He spoke gently, calmly, with clarity. There was no fear in this moment. It was wonderful, I did not want to leave it. I hope that we can all find comfort as we hide away in our special place where we hear His still small voice. For some, like me, in a new fresh breeze."
Thank you Rick!
If you have an encouraging story or reflection you’d like to share with our community, we’d love to hear from you. You can email Peter firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, check the redesignedwebsite! We are encouraging online offerings during this time. In the opening message on the home page, click the last words in the paragraph, "donate online here", to be taken directly to the donate section at the bottom of the home page.
Blessings on your day!
Peter Ilgenfritz, Interim Pastor 206-484-9814
Ella Long, Head Deacon
Sandra Leonard, Senior Trustee