The Seas of God

08.31.18 | Pulpit Posts

Away O Soul, hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Sail forth—steer for the deep waters only;
Reckless O Soul, exploring, I with thee and thou with me,
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go,
And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.
O my brave Soul.
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!

Walt Whitman wrote the words above, and while they describe an actual, physical journey, they also encourage the seeking that is essential to a living faith. Whitman himself was non-committal when it came to claiming any one faith tradition; in today’s parlance he would probably identify as “spiritual not religious.” Still, some of his work contains the clearest and most passionate descriptions of the soul’s restless desire for discovery ever written.

This passage assumes a number of aspects of venturing out in whatever form that takes. First, we must commit–and not commit with half measures. Every sail must be shaken out as we strive toward the deep waters. Second, our adventuring must assume the exploration of new territory; when we leave our port, we will not always feel comfortable or secure. Embracing the unknown necessarily includes risk. Third, because of this reality, we should accept that our seeking will demand courage. In order to embark, the protective barriers around our hearts must fall away. And fourth, the poet confirms for us that the journey is long. Our seeking has no predetermined endpoint; we engage it for the sake of the trip rather than the expectation of one specific destination.

Finally, even in the midst of all these other realities, Whitman reminds us that we are safe. We dare to seek, but that venture is joyful because no matter where we journey we travel on “all the seas of God.” Because God is the inspiration, the means, the context and the destination of all our seeking, we know we can venture forth without fear.

Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson

Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson


Stay current on activity at the Soup Kitchen, guest stories, thoughts from Clergy, news and events.

Subscribe to receive the latest news, events, volunteer opportunities, and more — right to your inbox.

Church of the Holy Apostles

We are an open, inclusive Christian Church celebrating in the Episcopal tradition.

Sunday Service is held 11AM (on site and via livestream). Weekday services are held on Zoom.


For Newcomers

Learn about our faith community and explore ways to connect with our work and worship.


Reflections on Holy Scripture from our Clergy.


Founded in 1844, with a focus on social activism and the desire for social justice.

Clergy, Staff & Vestry

The Vestry is the governing body of the Church of the Holy Apostles.


Music commands a strong presence at the Church of the Holy Apostles.

Space Rental

Host your next meeting or event in our landmark building.

Soup Kitchen & Pantry

Nourishing hungry New Yorkers since 1982 in an atmosphere of respect and hospitality.

Daily meal service

Serving a free, nutritious meal every weekday from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Meal outreach

Distributing bagged breakfasts and lunches throughout Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen.

About the soup kitchen

Learn more about our mission, our history, our performance, who we are, and what we do.

Pantry Program

Providing fresh and nutritious groceries to food-insecure New Yorkers.

Sunday Supper

Bridging generations and building community over a monthly family style meal.

Give Layers of Love this Winter

Help Keep Our Guests Warm this Winter.

Social Support

Meeting basic needs, stabilizing lives, and supporting individuals and families to achieve their goals.


Addressing the needs of the whole person through basic needs, counseling, and referrals.


Offering learning and skill-building opportunities.

Community Partnership

Partnering with others to expand the services offered to our guests.

Get Involved

Holy Apostles is a great place to channel your time, talents and generosity for good.


Make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and hunger.


Join our efforts to serve others and provide for people who are vulnerable.


Your gift provides food, community, and hope to New Yorkers in need.

The Latest

Stay up-to-date on all happenings at Holy Apostles.

Food For The Soul

The official blog of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.

Voices of Our Community

Guest stories, poetry, and more.


See our calendar of events.

Church Pulpit Posts

Read weekly meditations written by our clergy.


Holy Apostles in the news.