“Killing” time before an online meeting, I opened William J. Bennett’s The Book of Virtues, A Treasury
of Great Moral Stories. My first (cynical) thought was, “What an EASY way to write a book! Have a
recognized name and create a compilation.” My second thought was, “Huh, I randomly opened to page 296 – Ruth and Naomi – and the book header is Friendship.
That prompted thoughts of connections. Ruth and Naomi were APC’s Velma Hays Women’
Association’s study subjects when COVID chased us from each other more than a year ago. As a group, nation, world, we got used to fewer commitments and less interaction in that time. We communicated through screens, an occasional phone call, maybe even a handwritten note. We introverts liked the break! But we can’t “hide” forever. Life must continue in a bigger circle, right? It was time for the Velma Hays women to meet and make decisions. Did we have a future?
Maybe this is representative of your own circumstances – questioning whether to continue in a group after the hiatus, assessing if you truly missed the activity. So, we prayed. For us, the questions were: If we restart, do we convene now, just before winter? Do we invest in books or create our own path? And what about funeral dinners?! The group has been funeral-dinner-central for decades. Many hands make light work; but we no longer have many hands and strong backs. Do we disband due to few numbers?
Many small reasons existed to disband but a couple big reasons weighed heavy to continue. After all,
Matthew 18:20 is clear that “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in
the midst of them.” Plus, we’re friends. Some are in touch frequently, others mostly on Sundays.
However, there’s a history of these women caring for the church family and others. Friendship, whether deep or as an acquaintance, is a tie that binds. This group includes vacation bible school leaders, choir singers, a former organist of 40 years, quilters who helped with mission work, a talented song leader, and devoted session members.
So, we continue. We welcome all as we share lessons (do you appreciate a good parable?) and maintain or grow our friendships. We said Yes, not No, and that’s significant. The group will meet, pray, share wisdom, and serve APC as we can, though it’s sure to look different moving forward.
If you feel led – even if you’re unsure – please stop by the first Thursday of the month in March, April,
June, July, September-November at 12:00pm in the APC Social Hall for a cup of coffee (or a cold
beverage), cookies, and fellowship in learning. We don’t meet in January and February. We eat out in
May and December. It’s informal. You don’t have to be a church member or attender. You don’t have to know any answers. There are no tests. Please come as you are; we sure do! Amen.