Our Minister

Revd. Margaret Kirk has been a Unitarian Minister for 20 years, providing pastoral oversight at the Whitby chapel for most of that time.

She was minister of St. Saviourgate Unitarian Chapel in York between 1998 and 2009 whilst providing pastoral oversight at Whitby and regularly takes services for congregations in the wider Yorkshire Unitarian Union.

She writes an occasional `Thought For the Week` for the Whitby Gazette. The most recent one is printed here:

Waiting and Wilderness

We don`t like waiting to sort out issues. We like to get on with things quickly, put the issues behind us and move on. We don`t like uncertainty. We want to feel we`re in control. But most of the important issues that face us can`t be dealt with quickly; they need absorbing gradually; they require us to be prepared to wait until deeper understanding overtakes our first superficial responses. And no, I`m not referring to Brexit but to this time of the year when some of us recall the forty days and nights of wilderness that Jesus experienced and how the story tells us he needed that length of time to understand deeply what his mission was. The Christian calendar calls that period Lent, a time when we reflect and prepare for Easter.

Wilderness is a metaphor for the confusion of spirit that afflicts all of us at certain times in our lives. It`s connected with endurance and hope and the willingness to let go of our certainties.

Jesus took himself to a desert wilderness to strip away all the accretions of daily living in order to understand more clearly what he needed to do. For Jesus and the desert Fathers who spent long period of time in their desert wilderness, the most urgent thing to do was to wait. And at the end of that waiting to move back into the world with a cleansed understanding of what mattered most and of how to act.

Much of being in the wilderness is about waiting in a state of not knowing and allowing something to emerge and awaken within us. As the beautiful words of Isaiah tell us: `The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing.`

Margaret Kirk`

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