It's an exciting season at First Congregational Church of Bellingham. The wind is blowing outside, and all over town, the Spirit is blowing up new rounds of growth, new opportunities for troublemaking, new possibilities and friendships.
I've had some really sweet conversations with folks after worship lately, and I want to extend that into an invitation. Folks have shared very kindly and compassionately about the ways that sermons and music and all the rest of worship affect them, have told me how important this place is to their spiritual lives, to their sense of comfort and purpose, to the rhythm of what makes a week sustainable for them. Maybe you're one of those people. Please know that I appreciate your kind words, and it is an honor to work to help make space for this kind of sacredness for all of us.
And. If you are finding this place meaningful, if you are finding the Gospel we preach transformative, if you are finding the community we craft restorative, if you are finding the spirituality we practice to be mysterious and rich and good and holy... Maybe let someone know. I mean, it's fine for you to let me know, I guess. It's great to hear that the sermon I wrote or that the worship Sharon crafted or that the music Judy Doll sang (or whatever it is!) was timely for you. That's a gift. But it also makes me wonder who else should hear about it.
Is there somebody in your book club that has been asking hard questions? Is there somebody in your office that is just as troubled by Charlottesville as you are? Is there somebody in your school that could maybe use some support, some safety, some welcome these days? Maybe you want to bring 'em. Maybe they already have a community that is meaning-making and welcome-proclaiming for them – if so, cool, maybe they'll invite you and you'll get to learn what that is like. But maybe they are, like so many folks in our community, assuming that church is not for them, that they are too queer or too weird or too depressed or too liberal or too political or too sad for church, and they need somebody from their office or school or book club to tell them otherwise.
It doesn't make sense that the best thing we can do for the world these days is to invite somebody to come to church with us. And that's certainly not the only best thing for the world these days: we've all got legislators to call, and folks to pray for, and service to dig into, and checks to sign and all the rest. But maybe take a moment today, and let that wondering percolate in your heart. If this community is serving you, is teaching you, is holding you, is sustaining you—then is there somebody else you know that might want to get in on that?
We kicked off a whole mess of youth programs for the year on August 27. (Let me know if you're not already on the weekly email to get youth news!). Jean Waight is starting an Environmental Justice small group that will meet once or twice a month, and choose a project or two to work on over the course of the year, while also getting to know each other and supporting one another! (Email me if you're interested.) Worship is Sundays, Game Night is the last Friday of the month, and one of your pastors would love to have coffee with you and a friend in just about any of the other times.
Maybe your heart is inviting you to reach out to somebody else's heart. Take a deep breath and see if the timing is right.
Take care, David