I was listening to NPR a couple weeks ago and heard a story about a little business in New Mexico. It was called Teeniors… a start up that pairs tech savvy teens with seniors having a problem understanding the new-fangled technology in the world. Although its stated purpose is for technology to be better utilized, they actually see themselves as being more of a human connection company, enabling seniors to see teens as helpful, caring souls and teens seeing seniors as kind and affirming.

This next year at Bethesda we are going to open up space for the Spirit to create those same kind of connections among us. We spend too much time looking at the differences we have…between first and second service, between the longtime members and the new visitors, between those with gifts like mine and those that have those less than gifts. Instead, this year we’re going to get to know each other. We’re going to hear each other’s stories and share a bit of our own. We are going to pray together, eat together and serve together. One of those ways is going to be through a congregation-wide small group study called Unbinding the Gospel that will take place in September. It is a time that will be grounded in prayer and the Word. It will be a time for us to listen to others share when they’ve met the holy.

I ask of you two things—one, keep your heart open. When the opportunity is presented for you to meet another, take it. Let the Spirit so her work and let relationships begin to develop. Second, if you feel called to help create these spaces for open dialogue and connection, talk to me. Please, let this be a year where we are no longer a congregation of “us and them” but instead let us be a place where we are One in Spirit, where we are one in the Lord.

Pastor Sarah