We Are Family

Good Morning ~ May 25, 2016

This morning as I sit here I think about family. Those people with whom we are connected and who journey with us through thick and thin. One of those families is the one that we are connected to biologically but then there is the other family that extends beyond the boundary of biology to include a circle that can be extensive, the church family. These are the people with whom we are connected in spirit. There is our nuclear family, the congregation that we call home, and here we know one another by name. We meet regularly, we eat, play, pray, weep, argue, learn, worship and grow together. Then there is our extended family that, in reality expands the globe. I am not a person who usually is drawn to diagrams but there is one that depicts my church family that I love. It is a series of circles, the centre one being Christ and from that there is this ripple effect – the next ring is the congregation; the next the Conference; then the General Council and finally the World Council of Churches. This is our family, some we know by name and others only in spirit, we don’t see each other quite as often but when we do, we eat, play, pray, weep, argue, learn, worship and grow together.

Tomorrow close to 600 of my brothers and sisters will begin their journey to the annual gathering of Maritime Conference, 11 of those will be young people from our congregation. There will be a time of reconnecting with those you have not seen in the last year and there will be the opportunity learn the names of those you do not know. Time will be spent around table as you eat together and share stories of life. Then there is business stuff ! Here, like in all families, there is the brother who talks too much, the sister who knows too much, the brother who is the peace maker, the sister who will challenge, the one who will make you feel like you are the best person in the world, the one who will take charge and bring things back into order when the argument breaks out, the one who will invite you to think about things, the one who will add laughter and music to the gathering and so much more. Some you will like and some you won’t like quite as much but the constant is that we are FAMILY and we are connected in spirit and in love! When all is said and done you will have worshipped, eaten, argued, worked and played together and you will leave a little different than when you came, touched by the spirit, renewed in faith, and perhaps gained some new insight or understanding.

I started attending meetings of Conference in 1981 in Newfoundland and Labrador and in the last 35 years I have only missed three, this year will be the fourth. Some people do not like these gatherings but ,being a true church geek, I love them so not being there feels a little weird! I will have to settle for joining them in spirit and the occasional text to those who are there so I am not completely out of the loop.

So today I hold in my heart my family as they come from north, east, south and west to gather for work and play.

Blessings
Valerie

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