As some excitement is building about our first community gathering on March 6th, I received an email from a friend this week. She had visited the diner where we plan to host our Sunday gatherings, and enjoyed a good conversation with the waitress. In her email to me she wrote:
"God is good, and I am seeing things that have been happening for almost the past two years for me, seem to have a purpose."
Open encounters with others do that to us. Insights like these seldom happen in isolation. Our faith calls for connections, for collisions you might even call them. Faith in God and God's Spirit calls for openness and attnetiveness to how God might stir us to see and experience life differently - through relationships, circumstances, scripture, successses, failures, nature, etc. As we come together as a faith community and listen to one another and really see each other, our old definitions and classifications are broken down. We learn things about others, about ourselves, and about our Creator.
A faith community is a place where deep connections are made, but those relationships are more than just friendships; they are intentional encounters where we are vulnerable to having our story intersect with another's story - - and where we find our place in God's story.
Our "connecting" place will be Carl's Main Street Restaurant. My hunch is that rich relationships will be made there as we eat, share, reflect and explore scripture. My prayer is that as we connect, we will not only be shaped by one another's stories, but that we will be shaped into the image of Christ - One who lived in a way that valued relationships and who allowed them to be avenues for knowing and sharing the life-giving love of God.