ASC Minister’s April Message


*blessing the boats         

may the tide

that is entering even now

the lip of our understanding

carry you out

beyond the face of fear

may you kiss

the wind then turn from it

certain that it will

love your back     may you

open your eyes to water

water waving forever

and may you in your innocence

sail through this to that


*Lucille Clifton, “blessing the boats” from Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000. Copyright © 2000 by Lucille Clifton. Reprinted by permission of BOA Editions, Ltd., 


Dear Ones,

May the tide that is entering even now the lip of our understanding carry [us] out beyond the face of fear. Lucille Clifton’s poem, blessing the boats is featured in National Poetry month this year, and so I returned to her words. Tides and life are in a continual state of change, moving us forward and then returning, reminders that change is always with us within and beyond our bodies, our experiences. Here in our dear community, we are changing, inviting new people to deepen their commitment to All Souls; exciting, inspiring changes in the form of new ideas and energy; people willing to be part of communications and stewardship of our building, worship and religious exploration. And though we completed our formal Stewardship Campaign on Sunday, March 24th, we move ahead in the goal of every member making a financial commitment, and All Souls friends also choosing to pledge to our congregation. For those people who were able to attend the Stewardship Gatherings – inspiring meetings over tea or coffee, dessert or shared dinner, there were conversations and sharing of why this congregation is meaningful, and recalling who it was that first invited you to come through our doors. As we move into April, we are committed to these conversations continuing; inspired to imagine future circle suppers and lunches; curious about what community events we might host; and what positive, deeper changes might draw us closer and more deeply together. For as we learn and deepen our connections to each other, so it is that we gather strength for our work in the community and the larger world. I have been profoundly moved by journeys I have heard, conversations I have had, and challenges you have shared with me. 

As I reflected on our SoulMatters theme for April which is interdependence, I imagined  how powerful this reality can be if we truly accept, embrace the idea that we are in relationship with all living beings. How can we hold this reality, holding those who are suffering and offering our healing, courage, peace?  This is a challenging time as we reflect on the intense violence, struggle and hardship in Gaza continuing on, this month holds an even greater significance for it is a holy month for Muslims and Jews. This is the time of Ramadan for Muslims with Laylat al-Qadr, the holiest of nights when it is believed the Quran was communicated from heaven; and culminating on Eid al-Fitr marking the end of Ramadan. It is also a holy time for Jewish people with the time of Passover,  honoring the Hebrew people being freed from slavery. Ancient, religious holidays meant to be honored and celebrated in this holy time of year are such a stark contrast to the harsh realities of war. May we continue our work of thoughts and action toward peace and healing, reconciliation, imagining what our role could be. Not being afraid to see and reflect on the violence, while being able to take hold a larger prayer for an ultimate peace. 


Blessings, Rev. Telos