Erica and I were beyond grateful to be back in our sanctuary worshipping with our church family after weeks of traveling. The comments, emails and phone calls I received regarding the sermon God placed on my heart to preach — launched me into a deep state of appreciation.
Every week, I love greeting and welcoming our congregants before service because it allows me the chance to witness the beautiful relationships that have been built within our community of faith.
Last year, an article was posted entitled, No One Stands Alone: The Power of Community. Below is an excerpt that speaks to community.
“Without community, we cannot extend ourselves, our passions and our enthusiasm, into the world. With it, we have a mutual support system that carries us through hard times, such as when we’re losing steam and motivation, and when we need strength for body and soul. It sustains us in our own lives: We don’t ever have to stand-alone.”
The First Congregational Church of Darien exemplifies the power of community. When people enter our church, they see the love of Christ. People, committed to each other through the good times and bad times — we are a family. Our world needs to see this expression of love, unconditional love.
To become an Ordained United Church of Christ Minister there are several requirements that are asked of you. One of the requirements is that you do a full unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in a hospital, which is a total of 400 hours. As many of you are aware, I did CPE at Norwalk Hospital when I was our Interim Youth Minister. Sitting across from an individual who is sick and suffering is an honor — something Minister’s take very seriously. What broke my heart, more than anything, was seeing the difference between patients that had a community to come visit them and those that did not. This experience had an impression on me that will last forever.
Such an experience, as stated above, leads me into this week’s invitation for us all. Be grateful. Be grateful for the agape love that God shows us everyday, be grateful for the relationships that we have in our lives and be grateful for the community of faith that we belong to in Darien, CT.