Church of Our Saviour

21 Marathon Street | Arlington, Massachusetts | 781-648-5962

Reflections of Your Rector

Here’s an exercise. Take 60 seconds and write down all the changes you’ve seen in your life over the last ten years. Go…

I bet you came up with quite a list. And I bet you could have come up with a much longer list with more time.

In this rapidly changing world, I wish there were a few things in life that would never change.

Throughout my life, my grandmother’s home on the New Jersey shore anchored me. My parents had moved. I had moved countless times. But amidst all these changes, I returned every summer to see my family on the Jersey coast. The salt air smelled the same. The ocean sounded the same. The traffic on Rt. 35 down the barrier island was predictably awful. The bakery served the same crumb buns and black and white cookies I had eaten as a child.

Visiting the towns along the New Jersey shore was like looking at old family photo albums at Christmas. My memories were preserved there. When I heard the rollercoaster at the boardwalk or stepped into the store where I used to buy salt water taffy, I would remember who I was. And it helped me remember who I am.

It was painful to hear that so many places from my childhood were devastated by Superstorm Sandy. The chapel where my grandmother worshiped, St. Elisabeth’s Chapel-by-the-Sea is completely gone. More than a dozen people from my parents’ church lost their homes. The house my grandmother sold 5 months ago is in unknown condition: residents of her town have still not been allowed to see their properties.

This time of year tends to bring up memories of the past. For some of us, the memories are happy. For others, quite painful. Some of us are trying to hang on to the past. Others are trying to let go of it. Either way, it’s out of our control. People we love die. Or disasters strike. Or life just keeps changing day by day until we realize that everything is different now.

As you prepare for the upcoming holidays, consider these words of the Spanish mystic Teresa of Avila, made popular in the Taize Chant “Nada Te Turbe”
Let nothing trouble you.
Let nothing scare you.
All is fleeting.
God alone is unchanging.
Patience obtains everything.
Whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.

Yours in Christ,


PS—Those who wish to support those suffering from the aftermath of Sandy may wish to give a donation to Episcopal Relief and Development. Those who are interested in donating tangible items may wish to contact one of the distribution centers set up by the Diocese of New Jersey. The ones near my family are no longer in need of food or clothing, but can use gift cards to places like Target and Home Depot. In addition, the following items have been in high demand: Batteries of all sizes, Lanterns, Bottled Water, Hand-held Can Openers, Cleaning Supplies, Diapers, Formula, Baby Wipes, Personal Hygiene Products, Plastic Ware, Paper Products, To Go Meal Containers, and Pet Food & Supplies.


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