On Fathers’ Day, I preached about the gift we give to ourselves and others when we show up at church. I wish everyone showed up at church as regularly as some of you do. The faces of our “regulars” are like weekly touchstones for me. We touch many touchstones when we come to church every Sunday that we are able – the beautiful campus, the sunlight through the towering Canary Island Pines (planted over thirty years ago when UUs first moved to this location), Jim’s ringing of the bell, Stephen’s music – all these are wonderful touchstones, but none can compete with the familiar faces that we see, and the ritual of reconnection, as we come to know and care for one another.
A lot of us are so busy, and don’t have time to take advantage of the many social justice service opportunities that we offer. Here’s some good news – we don’t change the world only by engaging in volunteer service. We also change the world when we show up for each other. Your presence makes a difference.
A consistent presence especially makes a difference in our Chalice Circles program, which will start up again this fall. We don’t take attendance Sunday mornings, but at Chalice Circles we actually do. This is a small-group ministry program, where participants are asked to sign a covenant at the beginning. Part of the covenant is to do our best not to miss more than two of the monthly meetings October – June.
This is a program where we set the bar of expectations a little higher. Anyone who chooses to participate benefits from the consistent presence of the same group of people. It engenders trust and intimacy, that deeper sharing about our spiritual journeys may be facilitated.
We have a big church – it’s easy to feel lost in the crowd Sunday morning. This is why the Chalice Circles Small Group Ministry program is so important. It’s a chance for those deeper conversations that many of us hunger for to take place. It’s a chance for newer and older members to get to know one another and strengthen the bonds in our beloved community. It can happen because we make the feel-good commitment to show up. Look for this year’s Chalice Circle sign up dates this Fall.
See you in church!
Rev. Hannah Petrie