Friday, May 23, 2014

The Importance of Community

By Pastor Charlane Lines, Faith Lutheran Church

As a pastor, I am blessed to interact with people of all ages in all stages of life.   As I visit with people and listen to their stories, I am continually reminded of the importance of community.   From birth to death and all points in between, it is in the context of people gathered together that people find meaning, comfort, fellowship and hope.  
Technology has improved our lives and brought us closer together in so many ways.  With just a touch of a button we can hear and see loved ones living miles away.  Sharing information with one another is as easy as a mouse click.  Social networking sites have reunited long lost friends, helped form new friends, and allowed those who are home-bound to connect with the outside world.
Despite all these amazing ways of maintaining relationships, I believe that loneliness affects more people than ever.  Why is that?    Because, no matter how many people express their concern for you on Facebook, there is no comfort greater than sitting next to someone who can hold your hand, offer a hug, share a tear or a smile, or pour you a cup of coffee and remind you that ARE NOT ALONE.  Loneliness is prevalent in our world because it doesn't matter how many emails you receive to congratulate you on your achievement, a celebration with a group of friends gathered around a dinner table toasting your success will make that success more real, more tangible, and more amazing.
To be part of a community of people gathered, live and in person, is to be part of something life-changing.  When we are involved in community, we have the assurance that there will be someone there for us when we are hurting, when we are celebrating, when we have questions, when we need support.  The communities we join define who we are and help guide us on the journey of life.
Here in Meadow Vista we are blessed that even in this small town we have many opportunities for community: service groups, civic art groups, walking and exercise groups, youth activities, and, yes, church groups.  This summer, Faith Lutheran Church, the church I serve,  has many opportunities for building communal relationships.  Check us out at  Join us June 22 and July 20 for a BBQ and music and great conversation!

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