The Importance of Connections

Over the past few months, I’ve seen so many articles and podcasts on the importance of social connections for our mental health.  During the pandemic, precautions like social distancing and limiting large events helped keep us safe physically but they took their toll on us emotionally.

Milestone events like graduations or weddings maybe still went on, but were scaled down and held outside, socially distanced.  Families self-quarantined for two weeks before visiting a newborn baby.  But what about the small, day-to-day events in our lives?  Going to the grocery store turned into pulling up an app on your phone.  School concerts were recorded and posted on YouTube.  I missed talking to the cashiers at HEB and chatting with other parents at school events.  While I love my family greatly, I needed someone else to talk to.  I needed to connect with others.

My saving grace during the pandemic was church.  Laurel Heights provided me with so many opportunities to connect with others on Zoom.  My Sunday school class still met each week.  I was able to participate in Disciple II Bible Study and a special study on Race and the Church.  I served on the Stewardship Committee and helped out with the Come and See Advent series.  All of these opportunities allowed me to maintain and strengthen connections to our church family and even make some new connections.

Now that my family is back attending Sunday services in person, it’s been a blessing to see more church members and share worship in the sanctuary.  I’m so grateful for these connections and hope that I never take them for granted. They are a gift that binds our church together in Christ—both in belonging and in service in the world.

I know that everyone has different comfort levels with attending services in person, but I hope you can find opportunities at Laurel Heights to either make new connections or strengthen existing connections whether in person or remotely.  

The church’s Stewardship Committee is planning a month of reflection and celebration on the theme of Connections: The Gift of Belonging. Our series will culminate on Sunday, October 24 with a Jazz Brunch on the Plaza.  We’ll meet on Rowe Plaza from 9:30 to 10:30am and enjoy a light breakfast with jazz music. You can even stay in your car if you’d like or pick up a brunch box to go.

Laurel Heights continues to provide us with ways to grow in faith, friendship, and serving. I look forward to sharing these life-giving connections in these special ways during the weeks of October.

Susie Guven, chair

LHUMC Stewardship Committee