Pastor’s Reflection

Riviera Presbyterian Church

Dear Friends, 

In this week before All Saints Day, I have been reflecting on all the ways we hold grief and loss in our beloved community, and how we, paradoxically, hold it right alongside our hope in the future and our faith in everlasting life. The Creator gives us the gift of relationship – the capacity to love and be loved – knowing that this gift will bring us great joy and great sorrow. Maybe this is part of what we are meant to learn along the journey: how to love whole-heartedly, how to be fully present to the relationships we are given, even when they challenge us, and how to allow ourselves to feel their loss. Maybe it is the journey through this cycle which moves us toward what is eternal.  Maybe it is along this path that we experience moments of Divine presence. 

As we move through this season of remembering and honoring the Saints in our lives, may your heart be open to the joy, the pain, the healing and the hope of this whole-hearted life. 

An excerpt from “In Blackwater Woods” by Mary Oliver

Every year
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.  

Rev. Melanie Marsh

Katapult MarketingPastor’s Reflection