August 05, 2022
Where do you find community?
Our kids are going back to school this week – some started this past week and some are starting next week. In most schools in our area, kids will have new kids in their classes, new kids to sit next to at lunch, new kids to play with on the playground, if they are lucky enough to get to play. (Oh, to be 7 again and swing to my heart’s content on the playground swing!) There are built-in ways for school-aged children to make friends and have community. New kid in town? Here are 29 other kids your age to get to know.
But what happens when you become adults? How do you make friends and grow a community?
Social media is a place where many turn. Stay connected with that high school friend you haven’t seen in 30 years and never talked to when you were in school! Stay connected with your high school sweetheart you broke up with for good reason! Stay connected with your grandkids who post photos of their life! Stay connected to your church while you are away for the summer!
Note that all of these aren’t bad. There are some really creative and life-giving things going on with social media, but ultimately it can’t fulfill our true human needs and desires. Only community can do that. Real, life-giving relationships with people who see us, know us, and walk with us in our good and bad times are what fulfills our human longing for connection and community.
This is the church. In our best times, this is what the church does well. We show up with a casserole after a death. We visit someone in the hospital after a surgery. We pray together in times of life change. We struggle together with a passage of scripture or a topic of faith. This is the life-giving work of the church, and it’s vital.
In an almost post-pandemic world, it’s easy to continue to stay home and social distance and use social media and attend worship online. For some, this continues to be the absolute best way to continue to stay healthy. Sometimes, this is the best choice for where you are in life or in that week. But for some of us, we have simply fallen out of the habit of church. It’s just easier not to get up and go.
If you connect to church online, I question where you are finding real relationships with real people. Is it a small group that you connect with over zoom? Is it a small group you’re okay meeting in person? Is it a volunteer opportunity you don’t miss? How do you connect with people who see and know you?
If you are just out of the habit, I invite you to come on Sunday. This week is a great time to get back into the habit of coming to the building. If you are in the habit, I still invite you to come on Sunday! We have an adult baptism in the 10 a.m. service. An adult! When’s the last time we baptized an adult?! We will have communion in both services. And to top off a great morning of worship, we will gather around the table to eat. (Bring a dish or a bag of salad or chips to share!) It’s a great time to connect with others in the St. Mark’s family, and you won’t be disappointed.
No matter your place in life, I pray for relationships that fulfill your longing for connection and community.
See you soon!
- 8:30 a.m. Traditional service in Sanctuary and child care in Rm 15
- 10 a.m. Traditional service in Sanctuary
- 10 a.m. Youth and children’s Sunday School and child care (except fifth Sundays)
- 10 a.m. Livestream premieres on YouTube and Website
To access our livestream service:
- From the main menu on our website click “Worship.” -OR-
- Go to YouTube and search for UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley or use this link.