“A church, a place of worship, isn’t a place – it’s people.” But what does that mean now, when we are people … so … far … apart?
It’s easy to think of UUCF as “people” when we could meet face to face and share thoughts, little laughs, little worries during coffee hour or outside at the playground. But when we don’t have that unstructured time, how do we as people remain a place of worship? How do we remain a sanctuary?
I don’t have the answer, but I have an idea: a conscious, concerted effort at connection. Not the easy, natural connection of bumping into each other between services, but deliberate, mindful connection, sometimes going beyond our comfort zone.
On Sundays … that could mean clicking “join” for our Zoom morning worship. Or sometimes going a step further … clicking “start video” and letting people gaze at a friend they haven’t seen in a while.
For me, a spiritual practice I’ve been focusing on is joining the breakout rooms after service on Sunday. During these breakouts, I’ve talked with people from UUCF (as well as Potomac Partnership congregations) that I’ve never met before. I’ve tried to enter these rooms with no agenda, no planned questions, no expectations. And I try to listen and connect with these people, at this moment – with the belief that something special will take place, if I listen – and yes, if I share authentically of myself as well.
Staying connected isn’t as natural as it used to be. But I love seeing all of the incredible ways that UUCF is making opportunities for connection. There are so many virtual groups that are connecting on music, parenting, fellowship, on our many critical social justice issues. Maybe finding a place to land, among these many groups, can be part of your conscious, concerted effort at connection? If you’re thinking about that and need to bounce ideas off someone, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, just clicking “join Zoom” on Sundays is awesome as well. I’m grateful to “be UUCF” with you, right here and right now. Thank you.