The Elizabethan is a monthly update of parish and ministry happenings. Any items for the newsletter should be sent by the fourth Friday of the month to the church office email address:

To read the entire October 2018 newsletter click on this link >> Elizabethan 10-18

From Fr. John: Pursuing a life of meaning

In September 1942, Nazis arrested the prominent Jewish psychiatrist Viktor
Frankl in Vienna and took him and most of his family to a concentration camp. Three years later, when Auschwitz was finally liberated by Allied Forces, his parents and pregnant wife were dead. Frankl survived. One year later, he published Man’s Search for Meaning, a book that told a part of his story and that also offered insights into ways to seek significance and purpose in our own lives, especially in the face of suffering.

More than 17 million copies of the book are still in print and in 1991, the Library of Congress listed it as one of the ten most influential books in the United States. In our current cultural climate, the book may seem entirely out of step. Its emphasis on meaning, the potential value hidden in suffering and the responsibility to something greater than the individual self run counter to a popular culture that often appears to be self-absorbed in the pursuit of individual happiness.

What Frankl learned from his own experience was that people who were able to
discover or wring meaning out of even the most horrendous circumstances were far
more resilient to suffering than those who did not. He noticed that everything can be taken from a person – their belongings, their relationships, their family and friends, even their lives – all except one thing, “the last of the human freedoms,” Frankl wrote, “to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Chasing happiness is not the same as looking for meaning. A happy life and a
meaningful life tend to overlap, and yet they are quite different. Research shows that hunting for happiness can actually make people unhappy. “Happiness,”
Frankl wrote,“cannot be pursued; it must ensue; One must have a reason to be happy.” There is an emptiness gnawing at people that is showing up in our politics, in our media and in our relationships. In a culture obsessed with happiness, people are increasingly feeling hopeless,depressed and alone. Part of the reason is that happiness is temporary and is about feeling good in states of comfort or ease. Meaning, according to renowned psychologist Martin Seligman, comes from belonging to and serving something beyond yourself and from developing the best within you.

Read more of Father John’s essay in the newsletter >> Elizabethan 10-18

Copies of The Elizabethan may be picked up at the church, or mailed upon request. Just email us at the address above or call the office at 206-243-6844!

If you are interested in receiving a copy via email, let us know on our Facebook page or by calling the number above.

Archives 2018

Archives 2017

Archives 2016

Archives 2015

All newsletters published in 2014 are available in the Newsletter Archives. Click here to read them >

PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader.

We are an open-hearted, openminded community where people find healing, friendship, acceptance, and opportunities to discover and give their gifts to the world.