Sunday, November 20, 2016


I continue to attend church, even though the old Mark Twain observation that "you can't pray a lie" remains true, at least for me, and I don't have faith to match the hymns or sermons. But community is a nice thing.

Here's my favorite part: The sharing of joys and concerns.

I don't know if your church does it. Certainly, it's not been practiced in all the churches I've ever attended. But at Peace Mennonite, a young child takes a microphone around the sanctuary, and members of the congregation share important news from the week.

My cousin discovered she has cancer.

The mother of a little boy in my son's class died suddenly.

And joys:

I found a place to live.

The disease in remission.

He's coming home. 

It's the difference between church and, I guess, Facebook for me. News gets shared on social media all the time. And that can be very helpful.  But in real time, face-to-face, I get a more palpable sense of community — of the act of "bearing one another's burdens" that community can be about.

I'm not a good bearer of the burdens of others. Not even my wife, all the time, and she's borne mine so wonderfully. So. Even though I feel a bit strange in the church, unable to sing most of the hymns, I persist. I am learning.

No comments: