Songs for the Soul – Vashon UMC pastor offers free album download to support GNW clergy and lay leaders


By Sue Magrath

I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of clergy are beyond weary. It’s not just physical and emotional fatigue, but brain weariness. For the past two years, we have been caught in a spin cycle of thinking, strategizing, ruminating, worrying, second-guessing, third-guessing, problem-solving, stressing, and on and on. Our brains are tired of being occupied with our doubts and fears. They are overworked to the point of exhaustion, and they need a rest.

One of the best ways I know to give the brain a rest is through the senses. When we engage our senses, we can put our brains on the back burner for a while and let beauty seep into our souls. One of the primary vehicles for this is music. Perhaps you can remember a time when hearing a particular song took you to a completely different place, entered your being and created a sensation of stillness and peace in your body. That is the healing power of music. It allows you to just be and breathe.

Mark Wagner, pastor at Vashon UMC and singer/songwriter with five albums to his name, has offered to make an album of his music available to clergy and lay leaders in the Greater Northwest area at no cost to help ease the troubles of ministry in this challenging time. 

Explaining his intention for this project, Mark writes, “I’ll never forget leading worship in an ancient chapel in Ostrava, Czech Republic. There were hundreds of high school and college students gathered. As we sang, I reflected on the beauty of the diversity in the room and that despite our different languages and faith traditions, we were all singing praises to God. Since 2004 I’ve been sharing songs and stories around the world, offering words of hope and solace to people from all walks of life. May these songs bring you comfort. May they wash over you and remind you that though you may feel helpless at times, “you’ll never be hopeless, because there is a God that loves you, and that’s a hope worth holding onto.”

Through this project, named Songs for the Soul, Mark hopes that his fellow clergy will benefit by taking a music break in their day to rest from their worries and cares and taking their brains “offline.” Please practice good self-care by taking advantage of this amazing gift.

Click here to listen to and download this album anytime before March 7, 2022.  

Mark Wagner has been writing and recording music since 2004, selling upwards of 60,000 albums and performing in 15 countries and across the United States. He has a new album set to release this year. To learn more about Mark and his music, visit

Sue Magrath is a spiritual director and the author of several booksHer previous career spanned fourteen years in the mental health field. She is passionate about clergy wellness and has authored the book, My Burden is Light: A Primer for Clergy Wellness.

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