Every once in a while I find myself reflecting on why churches exist in a time of internet connections, video conferencing, global news awareness, access to exciting life styles and hobbies, sports and programs. On one hand it’s amazing that they/we do. There are a lot of other things available, many of them quite worthy, to take up a Sunday morning or a weekend. At times Sunday really is the “day of rest” when families connect again, or we catch up with out-of-town friends. The week really isn’t ever long enough.
On the other hand, we do gather Sunday after Sunday and search out that possibility when we don’t have it. There is no one answer to my original reflection question. Each of us, each household has reasons to be here. Many times there is a fundamental desire to be in community, meet our church friends, catch up with activities and doings. But I think we do that in a special way. Christ Church is a designated place where we are in constant search for meaning and purpose, a search that we do with God in any of number of ways we understand this. And we do this together. The search on our own is at best very limited, at worst, misguided and discouraging. The reason why “communities” of faith exist is so we can gather with a diversity of opinions, perceptions and understandings, to “compare notes”, to listen, to speak, share with one another and God. Especially here, this goes across the age ranges. My sense is that our teachers and teen leaders are learning from their students as much as they are sharing. And the connections can be very deep because our intention and hope is that God is part of these explorations. Prayer is exploration even when we have certain concerns and needs. Our time in worship is a way of re-focusing, being open to the possibilities of the day or the week. Coffee Hour can end up being an important continuation of what has “opened up” in church for us. It’s very possible that while the internet certainly “makes connections” and enables the sharing information, the “face to face”, the tangible, the hand-shake and the hug in a context of renewal and deeper life cannot be replaced… Fr. Dave