Ever since I was appointed to serve as your senior pastor, I’ve heard people, committees, and other groups talk about the need for more opportunities to connect and get better acquainted with persons we might not know. This is the reason the Church Council formed a Connections Committee to look at ways to do this. The Connections Committee, chaired by Tom and Cathy Rice, met recently and were enthused about several ideas that might be implemented.
I’m calling this first venture COMMUNION AND CONNECTION SUNDAY. As you know, it is our practice at First Church to have the Sacrament of Holy Communion on the first Sunday of each month. The Connections Committee has decided that we will have a special time of fellowship (connection) in Wesley Lounge on those same Sundays between worship services. There will be light refreshments, but this is more than that. This will be a time to mix and meet with those we know but especially those we might not know. If we believe this is important to the health of our congregation, it will require commitment from all of us. Here are a few disciplines required.
- Those who attend the first service will want to stop by Wesley Lounge unless there is some reason they can’t that Sunday.
- Those who attend the second service will want to make a new habit of arriving at church a little earlier and stopping by the lounge.
- Those who have other activities during the time between worship services, such as choir rehearsal or a Sunday School class, are encouraged to stop by for a few minutes, but we know you want to honor the connection you already have with a class or group.
- We have to declare “amnesty” for all of us. Sometimes we think we can’t approach people and admit that we don’t know who they are. We have seen them in church and we don’t want to insult them or embarrass ourselves. Forget all that. There is no embarrassment in wanting to get acquainted with someone. It is a compliment. So, I declare “amnesty” for all of us (not sure that falls under my pastoral powers but…) just reach out.
Let me share a word about the Sacrament of Communion. This sacrament is intended to bring us into an ever deeper relationship with God. It is to receive again the grace of God by which we spiritually thrive. However, we never take communion by ourselves. It is a communal activity in which we come before God in the company of our brothers and sisters in Christ. The word “communion” literally mean “with union” or “as one.” Perhaps pairing COMMUNION AND CONNECTION makes sense, as in both, we seek the presence of the Holy Spirit in our togetherness. This isn’t an effort just to be friendly but an opportunity to strengthen our fellowship and ministry.
WE HOPE TO SEE EACH OTHER ON COMMUNION AND CONNECTION SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2, AT ONE OF OUR WORSHIP SERVICES AND ANYTIME BETWEEN SERVICES IN WESLEY LOUNGE.
Denny Silk, Pastor