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Pastor Garrett Soucy, 'A societal course correction'

By Sarah E. Reynolds | May 14, 2020
Courtesy of: Garrett Soucy Pastor Garrett Soucy leads the nondenominational Christ the King Church in Belfast.

Belfast — Our series of interviews with Waldo County clergy explores how their congregations are finding new ways to worship, to connect with each other and the wider community, and to find hope and encouragement in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Clergy interested in participating in the series should contact me at sreynolds@villagesoup.com or 338-3334.

Garrett Soucy, pastor of Christ the King Church, a nondenominational congregation of about 70 that formed nine years ago and has space at 9 Field St., is skeptical of videoconferencing as a platform for worship while church members are unable to gather in person. He said because Christianity is an incarnational faith, it does not make theological sense to hold virtual worship services.

Instead, he has been recording a weekly audio message and posting it on the church's website, christthekingbelfast.com. Actually, he said, the church does have a weekly Zoom meeting for members to check in with each other, but "it's horrible, the word suffers terribly." He noted that, for example, laying on of hands for healing cannot be done without physical presence. He said the fact that God is present in our suffering gives it meaning.

Church members are used to eating together twice a week, Soucy said, after the Sunday and Wednesday services, and are now missing those gatherings.

He said solitude, quiet and meditation are ancient spiritual practices that, according to scripture, God sometimes forces on people to get them to take stock. He and his wife have encouraged their 10 children, as well as their parishioners, to write letters to fellow church members. And, of course, members talk to each other on the phone.

Parishioners are also caring for each other and the larger community: making sure older members do not have to go out by running errands to the grocery store and elsewhere for them; donating 300 masks, some of which members made, and some that were bought, to a local nursing home. Church members also pray, collectively and individually, for public officials, hospital staff, front-line workers and others, Soucy said. The congregation is also praying that as the state starts to reopen, more people will turn to God.

He finds encouragement not only in the word of God, but also in the fact that people are slowing down and realizing that a life of consumerism and individualism is not very fulfilling. He regards the civil emergency as an opportunity to turn down the inner noise and attend to the divine voice within. In fact, he said this time had the potential to be a "societal course correction."

Soucy said anyone who would like to attend the weekly Zoom meeting is welcome to email christthekingbelfast@gmail.com for an invitation. "We're really thankful for the community of Belfast," he added.

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