For this week and the next, I am reading about the history of congregational polity in one of my seminary classes. It’s more interesting than it might sound! Here’s the link to one of the readings:
You could say that this history is much a history of belonging! One of the topics addressed in the piece above is what it takes to sustain a church. Finances, sure. A minister, sure. People to fill the pews on Sunday morning, sure. But the most important piece? Something along the lines of small groups that allow for interaction and the deepening of relationships! Without small group activities outside of a Sunday worship service, churches just didn’t make it. What is a church? It is the congregation and the relationships that sustain it.
That being said, I encourage you all to join a small group, whether that be a Soul Matters sharing circle or our ritual artists team or our hospitality team, etc. You belong here, and there’s no better way to try that out than to engage in that part of church that you hear “calling” your name! I do believe that we are all called to a shared ministry in some way or another. Feel free to ask me about that sometime if you need clarification on that terminology.
In the meantime, here are some questions from the Soul Matters small group/sharing circle materials for September. These might be great questions to ask each other to start building those relationships and your own sense of belonging to a congregation whose mission is Love + Connection = Transformation.
“Too often the conversations with our family and friends stay on the surface level. This is an invitation to alter that dynamic. So below are some conversation starters rooted in Belonging.
Conversation Starters on Belonging:
● What feeling comes up when you hear the word “belonging”?
● When was the first time you thought to yourself, “Now I belong”?
● What food reminds you of your belonging? ● Has belonging gotten easier or harder as you’ve grown older?
● Have you ever had to sacrifice belonging for integrity? Or your integrity for belonging? Do you remember the lesson that taught you? How is that lesson impacting your living and loving right now?
● Have you ever found belonging in silence?
● What pieces of your religious past do you wish still belonged to you?
● When did a moment of belonging bring you to tears?
● How might we deepen your sense of belonging to each other?