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The Gift of Community

June 28, 2021 10:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Several tables filled with people at a brunch in Epiphany's Hadley HallI love the month of June! In New England, it begins with gardens bursting with flowers and later we get our first tastes of summer weather. For most of us, schedules begin to be a little less hectic and we have time to enjoy being outside as well as having opportunities to gather with family and friends. We have the whole summer to look forward to, and often that includes a bit of travel.  It doesn’t seem like it could get much better, but this year it has!

After months of having our lives turned upside down because of Covid, this June we have begun to get back many of the things we used to take for granted before the pandemic. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for each step forward that we have taken these past few weeks. There are so many things that I have missed, but as I think through the list, there is one thing that stands out – community.

We find community in many different places during our lives, and as I thought about my own life, I began to realize that the place I have most consistently found community is the church. Most of my closest childhood and adult friends are people that I have met in church. I even met the person who is now my spouse when we were singing in a church choir many years ago. I’m guessing that many of you can identify with this. As we have been regathering at Epiphany these past few weeks, the one thing I have heard over and over is how much you all have missed each other. While we have done our best to keep in touch online, it just isn’t the same as sitting next to someone and having a conversation, or singing and praying together as a group, or being able to give someone a hug and letting them know that you’ve been thinking of them. What a gift our church community is!

As your church staff has been meeting and planning for fall over the last few weeks, we have been talking a lot about how all of us need opportunities to get together so that we can strengthen our sense of community after many months of being apart. While all the plans are not completely finalized yet, I can tell you that there will be opportunities on Sundays after worship and during the week for us to reconnect and have conversations with one another. Please watch the newsletter for more information as we go through the summer. If you would be willing to help with these gatherings in some way, we would love to hear from you. We have much to be thankful for as we regather over these next few months and much to learn about what has changed in all of our lives. I look forward to reconnecting with all of you as we rebuild and add to the beloved community here at Epiphany.

Faithfully, 
Craig Benner

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