We had grown comfortable with our annual Welcome Back; with it’s after-church gathering on the front steps, it’s fry truck, it’s tradition… But this is a season of change. This is a season of seizing the moment, of looking each other in the eye, of connecting on a level far exceeding the Sunday morning ‘turn and greet one another.’
Our summer BondFires brought us into the fall with a growing feeling of new connection and community and we were loathe to see that ended; and so, we ‘Welcomed Back’ in good old country-charm fashion with a BondFire finale at the DeVisser Farm.
Fresh air lingering with the scent of a just-ended summer welcomed us warmly as we shared a simple meal. Laughter drifted as children ran and tumbled across the lawn and the tractor rumbled along, giving hayrides through fields awash in sunshine, culminating in a charming song-a-long around the little fire pit while s’mores were roasted and jackets zipped against the evening chill.
This is community. This is family. This is the church.
We were sensing a hunger among the people of HMC to return to a real place of personal connection. We believe that relationship is essential to building a strong and caring community. There is much to be said for intensive theological study or radical prayer meetings but without relationship it can all fall a little flat. Ministry can and will thrive when our relationships are vibrant and strong.
Long ago, we used to sing this old Gaither chorus and though it’s no longer part of our musical repitoire I think it really is part of the heartbeat of what HMC wants to be: