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  • Writer's pictureMemorial Fernandina

February 18th, 2024 | Rev. Dr. Mark Charles

“How are you doing?”


“I’m good.”


“No. But how are you really doing?”


If I had a dollar for every time I have had this conversation in the last couple of months, I would have enough extra cash to take Margaret and myself out for dinner somewhere nice!


There are busy seasons in ministry, just like there are busy seasons in any profession or vocation. If we clergy don't know that when we come out of seminary, we certainly learn it fairly quickly as we experience life in the local church. Having people ask how I am doing really is a beautiful thing. When you ask, I know that you are asking out of genuine concern for my well-being, and that means a lot. As your senior pastor I feel very loved, cared for, affirmed, and encouraged.


The last couple of months have been quite intense in terms of situations that require pastoral care and situations of bereavement within our church family.  And although the intensity is indeed physically tiring, I have felt strong and assured in terms of my spiritual, mental, and emotional health. I put this down to some practices I engage in on a regular basis. For example, each month I spend time with some people who make safe, confidential space for me to process the things that go on in ministry. Without these people holding that space for me regularly, I might not be feeling as strong.  Another example is that practice you have heard me speak of before – praying those Scriptures that have become so vital to me in recent years – “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is [God’s] faithfulness.”


Making regular time to take stock of our soul health is some of the most important stuff we can do in the Christian life. As we begin another Lenten journey, may I encourage you to make the time to take stock of your own soul’s health. If you don’t know how to do that, please reach out and speak to Pastors Rachel, Alyce, or myself – we would LOVE to help you. I can’t wait to see you on Sunday!



Pastor Charlie

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