A message from our Chaplain

Dear AAM Members,

How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? (Psalm 137.4) The question posed by the psalmist seems very familiar these days. We are in an unknown place, an unfamiliar and unsettling place; it feels foreign. So much of what shapes our existence feels a bit shaky just now. Our routines, not to mention our rituals, are all out of kilter. Friends and family are ill, churches are closed, the systems we depend on are challenged to the hilt. This is a real question that takes us to deep places. Each one of us will wade into these emotions and navigate these realities on our own terms. But never alone. 
There is another question I find myself contemplating a lot these days. It goes something like this: how might we to lean into these days and find in them something more than raw endurance? Or, to put it another way, what would God have us know?
Let me invite you to sit gently with these questions. What might it mean for you to lean into these days instead of enduring them? What would God have you know? Perhaps add some time to your daily prayer in the coming days and sit with these questions. Take these questions for a walk. Be open to what they might bring forth from deep inside you. I suspect you will discover the well is deeper than you realize. 
In sitting with these questions over the last few days, I’ve (re-)discovered my need to stay connected. I’ve reached out to friends I rarely see and others have reached out to me. I’ve hosted three “digital get togethers” with more to come. A friend’s birthday is coming up and a group of us sent cards and gifts and we’re going to “zoom in” for the party! These questions have helped me learn that it is essential for my mental and spiritual health to stay connected. I hope that these questions will lead you to new places. 
Let’s not despair. The psalmist also reminds us that, We will not fear though the earth should change. I find it helpful to remember, especially during these days when “the earth changes” daily, that one thing never changes: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46). Yesterday. Today. Forever. 
So, dear ones, how can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?  I don’t know. Just sing something! 
And sing we will!
Love and blessings!

The Right Reverend J. Neil Alexander
Chaplain, Association of Anglican Musicians