In so many ways, everything about this morning has been this morning’s sermon.
A wonderful snapshot and reminder of who we are and what we believe to be important and what it means to be a community of faith.
- There are the flowers from yesterday’s Memorial Service for Hank Kuusisto.
- We baptized Oliver and promised to stand alongside him and his family as he grows up.
- The children sang with all of their energy and enthusiasm.
- Other children skipped down the center aisle on their way to Sunday Spirit.
- We were reminded of the work we do beyond this place. Woman2Woman . Our Interfaith work. Our children’s offering going to support the work and mission of the No. Westchester Community Center.
- Then there was Dave Keeffe, who led us in our Opening Sentences and Opening Prayer. Just one of the many people who give time and energy and expertise, often in the background, to help us do all that we do.
- And a moment ago, David Hardy and his reminder that we are in this together.
No one person supports this place.
No one household’s contribution underwrites all we do.
The only way we do it is if we do it together.
And then, not to be forgotten, there is you and me.
Those of us who walk in these doors to be reminded again of who we are and who we are called to be because given the reality of our lives and the world out there I, at least, and maybe you as well, need all the reminders and all the support I can get.
And, we not only walk in, but we also walk out.
Back out to those places where we live and work each and every day.
It is out there that we are called to carry and to live something of that grand dream of God amidst the wonder and complexity of the world as it is. I echo the words of the apostle when I say, “I thank God for all of you.”
Besides your voice and mine that have been a part of this morning, I also wanted to add additional voices to the mix. In thinking about it, I remembered a question asked by a well known church consultant. He would ask congregations, “Would anyone notice if you suddenly disappeared?” So equipped with that question or a version of it, I conducted a completely unscientific, but highly personal online survey. I put the question on my Facebook page and on the church’s Facebook page and invited anyone who was interested to respond.
I received 15 responses.
Not many, you might say.
But given the dynamics of Facebook it might not be too bad.
From the responses there are a couple of interesting data points, I think.
7 of the 15 people who wrote something, nearly 50%, while they have a connection to BPC, do not live around here. They do not show up for worship on Sunday morning. They are not here to volunteer at the Mistletoe Mart. They are not available to serve on a committee or to help with a project or to teach a Sunday Spirit class. Yet, all of them feel a connection to who we are and to what we do and to the witness we provide.
Maybe our reach…
The circle of our community…
Is larger than we sometimes realize.
A second data point is that three of the responses were from adults under 30.
Maybe not surprising given that my survey was on Facebook and therefore represents a pretty self selected group who see and/or read my Facebook feed. But given the statistics that a significant percentage of young adult have never had any real connection with a faith community the fact that three young adults took the time to think about and to write a response is also something for us to take note of and pay attention to.
In responding to my questions, those who wrote used these words to describe who we are and what would be lost if we suddenly disappeared.
- It feels like coming home.
- A place to practice being your best self
- A passion for mission…making a difference…providing an example
- Thought provoking
- A place to ask questions
I am sure my survey was skewed by the way I asked the questions I did and by those who took the time to respond, but if what they shared is any indication of who we are, I think we are doing something right.