Before going to sleep at night, Guy and I trade off reading aloud.  We choose our book carefully, as we don’t want some of the harsh realities of our lives to be our last thoughts before sleep.  Right now, we are reading Redwall by Brian Jacques.   It is about a community of mice who are under attack by an evil and tyranical rat and his gang.  There is a particular mouse whose character is developing into a hero/warrior to ultimately save the day for the mice.  His name is Matthias.

Matthias spends most of his time away from Redwall Abbey, eliciting the help of a variety of other animals:  sparrows, squirrels, shrews, owls, hares.  Without their specific talents, he would not have been successful.  His genius was finding, befriending, and valuing their input.  This story is about shared ministry!

As I reflect on the year we are completing, we have been and are embracing shared ministry.  To me, shared ministry means:

listening deeply to each other and finding new, shared relationships
being open to change
trusting ourselves and each other
having the courage to try something new
honoring and embracing the inherent worth in each of us
moving forward in community with a shared vision

Just like in Redwall, we can overcome obstacles together and work toward a common good!  

Looking ahead to next year’s church year, I most look forward to shared ministry.  May it be so!

Here is a youtube of an animated telling of Redwall, but reading the book is much better:


What music is happening at First Parish this month:

June 12th:  Look to our youth musicians for the inspiration for this service.  Nick Woebcke will be the pianist and Jean Gauthier will be leading our singers for this service.

June 19th:  Our First Parish Band is providing the music for the entire service!  Sending lots of gratitude to each member of the group!   We will say “Goodbye” to our colleague of 10 years, Lauren Strauss.  Wishing her well, always!

Charlyn Bethell
Music Director | + posts

Charlyn’s professional training has followed two paths: as a professional oboist and as a music teacher and conductor. As Music Director at First Parish, she joins these two paths of her musical life, conducting the choir, coordinating guest musicians, and performing on oboe.