Discovering Connections

Susan Classen, writing in Dewdrops on Spiderwebs, observes that “We often use the phrase ‘making connections’ but I’ve come to appreciate thinking about ‘discovering connections’ rather than making them.” Her words remind me of an experience I had with our youngest daughter, Anna. When she was 6 or 7 she enjoyed riding behind my bicycle on a Trail-a-Bike—something of an extension on the back of my bike complete with pedals and a rear wheel. One day, after we had ridden some distance in silence together, she said out of the blue, “Daddy, are we connected?”

The matrix of our life together in Christ is easy to overlook. Other things claim our attention or distract us for a time from the community that nurtures and nourishes us in the things of God. But the tie is there, elastic and enduring, binding us together. I like Susan Classen’s idea that our work in community is not so much making connections as discovering them. Like Anna on the back of our tandem bicycle after miles and miles of riding together, our epiphanies lead us to realize what has always been there, forgotten, perhaps, or taken for granted, but never really absent.

October is a season for us of reflecting on our practices of financial generosity toward Laurel Heights as a dimension of our spiritual lives. But these seasons always reveal more than the subject of what we give to the church and why. In this particular season, what we’re noticing is that even in Covid times there are ties that bind us, a church family that claims us, a faith community that forms us for our lives of serving and witness in the world. We are not so much “making connections” this month as “discovering” them.

When you ponder your connections with Laurel Heights, what comes to mind? In what ways has your faith journey been blessed by having shared it in this community? And through a season of limitations and cautionary notes in our meeting together, where have you seen in the ties that bind us a tenacity on the one hand and a pliability on the other? Give thanks to God with me for these ways in which we have been held, encircled, remembered, loved. Reflect on ways that in your giving you have made that
possible during the current year. Now consider what a next step in giving might be in your faith expression in supporting the church? 2022 awaits us, and will call for the same sturdy and generous practices as through this year. May we each discover more both about the ways we are connected and the joy of generous giving to this church that draws us together in Christ.

Grace and Peace.