Message from Douglas Cornman, Island Outreach Director and Chaplain

A message from Douglas Cornman
Director of Island Outreach and Chaplain
MV Sunbeam V

Greetings, my friends. I pray that my letter finds you well.

These are indeed uncertain and frightening times, aren’t they? How we live and relate to one another is changing at an extraordinary pace, as is the information that we need to process and try to understand. Our communities have changed overnight, and we are frantically trying to adjust to a new normal. Given all that is happening to and around us, it is easy to succumb to our fears and anxieties. We find ourselves thinking and behaving in ways that are also new, unfamiliar, and, at times, quite surprising to us.

As we scramble to find balance in chaos, I offer that we make every effort to choose our path forward in love, instead of fear. Try not to give into feelings of anxiety and doubt. Instead, rely on your capacity to find the strength necessary to love in ways you never thought imaginable. Now is the time to choose love, not fear.

Trust me. I recognize how easy it is to offer words like these, especially in a time like this. However, I would not offer them, if I thought the suggestion impossible. To aid you in choosing a way forward in love, I offer this…now is also the time to pause and breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Breathe with me, my friends. Stop reading for just a moment and breathe.

I am constantly astonished by how the world and my thoughts and feelings seem to take a step back each time I take a breath. The world and my fears no longer wrap so closely around me. Instead, my breath creates a space – a moment in time, if you will – where peace resides, and love is mine to choose.

For me, it is a divine space. A place where the world seems a little less muddled and my fears a little less frightening. A place where I am not alone, but connected to my family, friends, and neighbors in a spirit of mutual support and communal love.

So, I conclude my message with this recommendation and prayer – breathe and choose love.

You are not alone. Borrowing words from Kerry Maloney, Chaplain of Harvard Divinity School, “our collective isolation [provides] an opportunity for communal solitude.” Rest assured, we will discover our new normal and we will do it together, as we move forward in love.

Peace, health, and love,

Douglas
Director of Island Outreach and Chaplain
MV Sunbeam V