Blest Be the Tie
One of my favorite things about my role here at the church is that I get to know everyone at least a little bit.
I love being able to look out over the sanctuary each Sunday and know everyone there who’s not a visitor. And not just know who you are, but in most cases know something about you: where you’ve been, what you’re doing, what’s going on in your life. It’s a tremendous joy and honor and I take it very seriously.
But there are also times when I forget that not everyone in our congregation is afforded these same relationships!
While I think our congregation does a good job of providing ways for folks to interact with and get to know each other, it’s inevitably the case that we move in different circles, and while we might recognize faces or names, we don’t know everyone as well as we might like—and others don’t know us. It's also true that we've welcomed a number of new people among us one the past couple of years and we're all still getting to know each other.
Our combined adult Sunday school offering this summer aims to help us in this.
Our adult education committee has put together a series we’re calling “The Ties That Bind,” after the old hymn. Over the course of these five Sundays in July we’ve invited different folks from within the congregation to come and share on topics related to our shared identity here at the church. We’ve tried to reach out to folks from different pockets of the church, especially folks we may not hear from as much. We’ve reached out older members and younger members, newer members and members who’ve been here since their name was listed on the cradle roll. Our hope is that over theses five weeks we can get to know a few more folks with whom we share this place as we discuss the commitments that bind us together as a congregation.
This Sunday, July 1 (just in time for Independence Day), Doug Thompson will kick things off for us with a lesson on religious liberty from a baptist perspective. The following Sunday, July 8, we’ll enjoy an “oral history” of sorts as Suzy McCullough, Kathryn Harris, and Elliott Wall share what for them have been the most important moments and experiences in our church.
Over the following three weeks we’ll focus on the commitments listed in our vision statement, to nurture, love and serve.
On July 15, Dan Riley and Marina Spears will share how they have been nurtured by our congregation, and equipped to nurture others. Julie Long will also share how a commitment to nurture informs her theology of children ministry, or vice versa.
On July 22, Susan Johansen and Shereé Keith will share how a commitment to love all people informs their work. Susan works at Crisis Line and Safe House, an intervention and support center for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, and Shereé is a professor in the Department for Media, Culture, and the Arts at Middle Georgia State University, and serves as the faculty advisor for the Gay-Straight Alliance.
Finally, on July 29, David Davis, Raleigh Mann, and Jessica Northenor will share how their faith informs their commitment to service. David, of course, serves as Sheriff of Macon-Bibb County, while Raleigh served for a number of years in the Army and then in the Army Reserve. Jessica serves as a high school english teacher in Perry.
Of course, we won’t be able to get to know everyone in the church over these five weeks. But we’ll get to know at least a few a little bit more.
And what’s more important, we’ll get to know something more about the ties that bind us together as a church.