On July 31, 2022, I returned to a church where I spent a few years as a valued part of the congregation.
For about three years, I attended Sunday services at University Circle United Methodist Church. We had a true Man of God, a leader, whose Sunday sermons are as good as any, anywhere. I am an impatient person, but I would sit motionless while listening to him connect with every one in that room. We were a diverse congregation.
Long story short, the pastor retired, he was replaced by a very divisive person and almost everyone left the church. Then lay the pandemic on top of it and I hadn’t been there in quite a while. The church sits near the art museum, so I would sadly drive by it frequently.
Our pastor returned to the church to fill in for a the latest pastor who was on vacation and many, many of us returned! I walked in there and was overwhelmed by the love. It was truly awesome. I sat and listened to the sermon, like nothing else I could sit still for and pay that close of attention. It was wonderful!
Two of my best friends in the old congregation are two African-American ladies a bit older than I am. We sat with each other all the time. I felt like one of their sisters. Ester and I particularly bonded and I was so, so happy to see her! She is truly a blessing. She is a curious person, she asks questions that I am happy to answer. In the group of people, I am one of the ladies, no question.
On the second Sunday of every month, many of us went to lunch. So we had a reunion SSL (Second Sunday Lunch), even though it was the last Sunday of the month. Just to see everyone smiling, laughing, talking, hugging, it was heart-warming. Many times throughout the day, I simply watched and smiled and yes, wept tears of pure joy.
We will probably never put Humpty Dumpty back together, we’ve all disbursed to many other churches where roots have been re-established, but for one day, for a few hours, all was right with the world. If you can ever find a place like this, hold on to it like grim death, never let it go. Jewels like that are had to come by.
I want to thank my readers for the discussion that occurred here this past Saturday. Gwen made is all think and so many contributed such a meaningful discussion. This is what I mean by the community we are building here. Invite a friend to check us out!
Then Nora checked in yesterday and again, a wonderful on-going conversation all day!! I want this to be the blog where we think a bit, where we support each other, where we love each other. This isn’t about being goofy or foolish like many blogs, we have a great deal of fun here, but we’re real and we put our money where our mouths are. Many of our contributors actually go out, we have experiences, we share and we know what the world is really like!
Allow me to share something here. I watched the four hour HBO documentary “George Carlin’s American Dream” (I cannot recommend it highly enough!) on Sunday. As an aside, I don’t know how people binge shows. I loved it, but felt guilty watching TV that long. Anyway, many, many years before me, he said something that I have been preaching here for years: people, individual people, are wonderful! Once they assimilate into groups, be that organized religions, or political parties, etc., they lose that ability to be human. Group think kicks in and you know the rest. I could not believe he was quoting me, even if it was thirty or forty years before I said it.