Where Everybody Knows Your Name
March 27

This past Sunday at Epiphany we had a lunch after church for folks who were new to Epiphany. (In church language, this is called a new member class.) At these lunches we spend some time talking about Lutheran history and theology as well as Epiphany as a church, our ministry and how they can be a part of it, but mostly we spend time getting to know each other. Each person takes some time to introduce themselves. They talk about where they grew up, their family, and the kind of work they do but then we have a chance to go a little deeper. They talk about who introduced them to the Christian faith and what drew them to Epiphany. This is where the connections start happening. They might talk about a beloved grandparent who tirelessly took them to church and not only made sure that they knew the bible stories, but also that they knew what it felt like to be loved. They may tell a story about a painful experience at a church and how the church let them down, but something drew them to a place that used words like openwelcoming and affirming. Chances are by this time there are a few eyes in the room that are filling up with tears. We spend an extended amount of time on this part of the class because connections are important and if we are able to connect with one another then we aren't only a part of a church, we are a part of a community and we may even realize that this community is like a family.

What communities are you a part of? What are the communities that know you better than most? Where do you go when you are struggling and in need of support? 

I worry community isn't what it used to be. I think everyone says that when they get to a certain age, but I think this one might be more than just, “When I was a kid...”  We have allowed our lives to be so full and we have a ton going on, but we have very little depth. Our communities may extend for miles, but do they have any depth?  Maybe you liked your "friend's" most recent post but do you know anything about that friend? Have you heard their story and have you heard those? Is there any depth there? I believe we are created for community, and I think we all want those deeper bonds that last for decades, but will we allow them to happen? There are some things that can't happen at the same speed as our giga-pace world. This sort of community only happens over time where it has the chance to grow deeper roots that will last for years.

There are times when these "intros" go on so long, I look at my watch and wonder if we will ever get to the rest of the class, but I've never thought the time spent sharing wasn't valid. This is where the relationships start to take root and it’s in those relationships that I hope lifelong friendships begin, built on the foundation of God's love.  In a world that can seem so shallow, maybe we can find depth here, in a church basement over a meal of frozen lasagna.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Chris

Last Published: March 27, 2019 11:01 AM