That place that gives you refuge and strength

That place that gives you refuge and strength

So much to consider as we enter this new phase of the pandemic. Wherever you find yourself in the midst of this anxious time, I pray that you will find that place that gives you refuge and strength.

September has arrived! Already, the leaves are changing in some places and the crispness of the air speaks of cooler weather to come. Not only is creation in the process of change, so too are we as communities of faith. We enter into a new phase of this pandemic and are beginning to re-launch services and programmes that have been on a

“very long March break”

That is the topic of conversation around office tables and at gatherings of clergy these last few days. There is a sense of excitement at seeing familiar faces again and gaining some much needed community connection. However, with that also comes apprehension and anxiety, especially for those of us charged with ensuring that all the regulations are in place and the safety protocols are communicated well. In our own space here at First, we have been discussing

  • how we creatively mark spaces off in the sanctuary to facilitate distancing;
  • what kind of masks would be helpful for those leading worship and song;
  • how do we keep accurate account of who comes and into our buildings on a daily basis;
  • how do we ensure that people coming into the space adhere to all of the protocols;
  • what do we do when someone doesn’t

These are just some of the questions that we are living with.

My mind is racing and there are many things to consider. I imagine that each one of you knows this same feeling.

perhaps your anxiety is being caused by the things that we are currently experiencing as a society;
perhaps your anxiety is a result of other things happening in your life;
perhaps you are someone who deals with these kinds of anxieties on a regular basis but regardless of the reason.

I think that we all long for those moments of refuge and seek a calming for our souls.

That place that gives you refuge and strength

With all of this playing out in my head I was drawn, as I often am, to the Psalms. The words of the ancestors have always touched a chord with me and most often, I can find a moment of refreshment for my soul, some direction for my thoughts, and a sense of calm for my being. Psalm 46 is one that really resonates with me. A couple of years ago I wrote a book of reflections on the psalms, Soul Songs, and I leave you today with my adaptation of psalm 46. Wherever you find yourself in the midst of this anxious time, I pray that you will find that place that gives you refuge and strength.

The energy of the Universe surrounds us.
Divine light dwells within and beyond.
This is our refuge and our strength.
Therefore, we will not fear
tho’ life should change
and chaos seem to rule.
There is a love that fills our being
and a foundation that is sure.
In this love…
wars can cease
bows can break
spears can shatter.
Let us be still and know this truth.
Then make this truth
a way of life.

May it be so


© 2020 Rev. Valerie Peyton Kingsbury

Product - Soul SongsSoul Songs, A Reflection on the Psalms

In this book the author shares her collection of poems that were inspired by the Psalms and written as morning meditations while sitting on the banks of her beloved river.

In the summer of 2018 I decided to make the psalms my morning meditation. Each day I sat with the sun rising over my beloved river, surrounded by the wonder of creation and the psalms open before me. Here I was transported to a place of deep connection with the energy of the universe. As is often my reality, when I enter this place of holy mystery I am compelled to take pen in hand and the images translate into words, In the pages that follow I share with you the result of my journey.

Rev. Valerie Peyton Kingsbury

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