Thirty-five percent of Americans over forty-five are chronically lonely,” reports David Brooks in his latest book, The Second Mountain. “Only eight percent of Americans report having important conversations with their neighbors in a given year. Former surgeon general Vivek Murthy wrote in the Harvard Business Review, ‘During my years caring for patients, the most common pathology I saw was not heart disease or diabetes; it was loneliness'” which is recognized by many as the underlying cause for many physical and mental diseases.
Keeping busy, though it can be helpful, is not the answer. The answer is authentic connections, authentic attachments, authentic community. Flourishing life depends on these kinds of connections and these kinds of connections are built around deeply meaningful conversations about what is truly important to us. Laying the foundation for these types of connections has been one of the primary aims for our church.
This Sunday we will explore the role our Sunday service plays in this aim and the alchemical spiritual power identified in the passage, “When two are more are gathered . . .” The following Sunday we will participate in Brunch Church—a unique means of authentic engagement among members of our community. Your presence is an important ministry in creating authentic community. That ministry begins in the simplest of ways— as one of our very dear congregants said last week: “Try sitting in a different seat on Sunday. It’s a great way to get to know new people!” I hope to see you Sunday. It won’t be the same without you!