Do you remember the first time you felt you belonged at SAPC? Whether you were a newcomer or have been at Seventh Avenue for decades — this is our ‘home’. We are wired, as human beings, to belong; to find a place we can call home: where we know, and are known by others.
There are qualities to belonging — the first is: be curious.
Being curious is cultivating a child-like sense of wonder, where the unknown of each person becomes an opportunity for discovery; a source of exhilaration and adventure.
Each Sunday we might ask ourselves: Who are we really? Who are we as a community of faith? Who are my neighbors — in the pew — or strangers at the door? Who are we in all our splendor and wackiness, and beauty and spirituality, and depth and wisdom?
The second quality is: to be welcoming. To welcome each person we encounter as if we are welcoming the Christ. Because, you know, we really are. When we welcome each person as the Christ, we discover the Christ in each person.
The final quality is: to belong … and, to belong means we must be mutually dependent on, and vulnerable with, each other. When we have a sense of belonging this spills over to others saying they belong as well. And, this my friends, is community.
My prayer is that we, as members of this beloved community known as SAPC, will continually be engaged in the practice of welcome. Saying to others, and to the world, there is a place for you here.
These three qualities of Christian community: being curious, being welcoming, and belonging are hallmarks of our life with God. So, may each of us be live these words of a benediction I’ve recently been saying at the end of our liturgies:
Life is short.
We do not have too much time to gladden the hearts
of those who travel the way with us.
So be swift to love.
Make haste to be kind.
And may the blessing of God, the Creator,
Jesus the Christ, and Holy Spirit,
be upon you and remain with you now and forever. Amen.
Being curious with you,
Jeffrey Steven Gaines
*this reflection inspired by article in newsmagazine of Trinity Church, Boston
We’re pleased to present the March-April 2019 issue of our Seventh AveNews church newsletter. It is packed full of important information and fun photos, so be sure to check it out!
CLICK HERE to download a PDF copy!