Get your June 2017 Ankeny UCC Newsletter!
In the midst of national division, even watching the news can create a feeling of isolation within us. We wonder whether we are alone in our thoughts and beliefs. We wonder whether we are safe going out of doors (we are! It’s just that every crime is reported 20 times!), we wonder whether anyone can understand what we are going through, and afraid to speak for fear of being shown to be weak or broken.
This spring, we read through the Gospel of Luke and some of Paul’s letters to the Galatians. Throughout those stories, we saw messages of connection and community. Jesus certainly new the great global game Israel suffered under, with a king appointed by a foreign power and people subject to military rule. But in the midst of it all, Jesus and then Paul reached out to people who were different, and invited them in for meals. They recognized that power does not come from above. Power comes from the Holy Spirit, the presence of God that joins us whenever two or three are gathered in the name of Jesus not to talk only about the weather, but to talk about our hopes and fears, to talk about what we are seeking, and how we might accomplish our goals together.
As part of the work of the Welcoming Task Force and AMOS, our council spent a large part of May’s meeting talking about the importance of one on one lunches, coffees, walks, and talks that take more than a few minutes and trend not toward talking about other people and other news, but about our own pains and joys, hopes and fears. This is the best way to build our relationships together, so we can welcome more fully, explore more deeply, care more intensely, and serve more joyfully.