A Final Thought On Marsh Chapel

Dear Marsh Community,

Today, April 19th, 2020, I write what will likely be my final Marsh Blog post.

In four years, I’ve seen an immense amount of change. But throughout these changes, one things has remained constant: my prayer at Marsh Chapel.

During a non-coronavirus impacted school year at Marsh Chapel, you could find me on a Wednesday at 11:06am, sitting in the back pew admiring an inscription or a stained glass window.

During a non-coronavirus impacted school year at Marsh Chapel, you could find me sitting at the piano on a Tuesday at 10:14pm, playing Amazing Grace.

During a non-coronavirus impacted school year at Marsh Chapel, you could find me on a Saturday at 2:33pm, standing in the narthex, reading a few of Thurman’s works in the display case.

During a non-coronavirus impacted school year at Marsh Chapel, you could find me on a Thursday at 7:23pm, preaching a sermon with my fellow associates in remembrance of Maundy Thursday.

During a non-coronavirus impacted school year at Marsh Chapel, you could find me on a Sunday at 12:22pm, handing out a hot chocolate or signing thank you notes on the plaza with MOVE.

During a non-coronavirus impacted school year at Marsh Chapel, you could find me on a Friday at 4:45am, pacing on the back of the beach in preparation for a spring concert.

During a non-coronavirus impacted school year at Marsh Chapel, you could find me on a Monday at 6:01pm, praying before a community dinner in the Marsh Room.

During a non-coronavirus impacted school year, you could find me at Marsh Chapel on any given day, at any given time, in a state of prayerful reflection. A constant in the midst of uncertainty.

In the space surrounding the chapel, and within the building’s four walls, I have found prayer to be my refuge. Prayer allows me to accept whatever the future may bring, while experiencing the totality of the present moment. Prayer remains a constant, and so too, Marsh Chapel remains a constant in my spiritual life.

I would like to take a moment to thank many of those who have helped me find wholeness at Marsh Chapel. I could write an essay on my gratitude for every person on this list, but to keep it readable, I’m listing one quality that you’ve inspired me with:

To Soren and Jenn: Thank you for your hospitality.

To Brother Larry: Thank you for your questioning.

To Dean Hill: Thank you for your words.

To Heidi: Thank you for your positivity.

To Ray: Thank you for your detail.

To Scott: Thank you for your encouragement.

To Justin: Thank you for your inspiring playing.

To Karen: Thank you for your check-ins.

To Jess: Thank you for your laughter.

To Victoria: Thank you for your enthusiasm.

To the Marsh Chapel Choir: Thank you for your talent.

To Members of the Book Study: Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

To The Members and Community of Marsh Chapel: Thank you for your presence.

And of course, my fellow Marsh Associates:

To TJ: Thank you for your friendship.

To Shruti: Thank you for your passion.

To Alec: Thank you for your open-mindedness.

To Celie: Thank you for your awareness.

To Devin: Thank you for your boldness.

To Denise: Thank you for your drive.

To Emi: Thank you for your humor.

To Phoebe: Thank you for your honesty.

To Nick: Thank you for your integrity.

To Marritt: Thank you for your enthusiasm.

To Savannah: Thank you for your creativity.

To Ian: Thank you for your listening.

To Matt: Thank you for your drive.

To Kasey: Thank you for your intellect.

I’m grateful to have shared so many memories, moments, and prayers with all of you.

I feel that it is only fitting to end my last blog post with my first memory of Marsh Chapel, and the words that sealed my love for this place. There’s something fitting about the fact that over the course of my four years, this musical reminder of God’s presence never changed. These words continue to center my thinking, and open my eyes to a profound sense of hope.

“God be in my head, and in my understanding,

God be in my eyes, and in my looking,

God be in my mouth, and in my speaking,

God be in my heart, and in my thinking,

God be at my end, and at my departing.”

May the Lord bless and keep all of you, may the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and grant you peace. Now and forever. Amen.

With love and admiration,

Tom

 

20 Comments

Devin Harvin posted on April 29, 2020 at 10:20 am

One of the best to ever do it. Thank you Tom, for your commitment to Marsh Chapel, it was a pleasure to grow with you.

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