The Oasis - June 5, 2019

Author: Rev. Estelle Margarones
June 05, 2019

Rev. Estelle Margarones

Last Sunday after church, six of us from First Parish attended the United Church of Christ (UCC) York Association meeting, a gathering of pastors and delegates from the 21 UCC churches in York County. I arrived dutifully during the registration time (2:30-3:00) and expected the program to begin at 3:00. It did begin then, but not in the way I expected. 

Instead of opening the program with worship as is often done at Association meetings, the entire first half hour of the program was no different than the registration time. From 3:00-3:30, attendees could continue to enjoy picnic-themed snacks and talk with others.

While I wish I could say that I was delighted to have the extra time to talk with others, the truth is that I was initially taken aback. I knew only a few people there. Despite the fact that I am frequently meeting new people; it’s just not that easy to approach perfect strangers (!) and, honestly, there were a lot of things I could have done with an extra half hour in the office.

My 14-year-old self would have been miserable at having to speak to strangers for 30 more minutes, but my adult self took it in stride. Not only did I have some great conversations, but I was able to introduce two people I’d just met to each other. In separate conversations, I learned they’re both from Medford Massachusetts!

I have come to appreciate what may have been a sneaky tactic employed by the York AssociationOne of the foundations of the UCC is covenantal relationship and we can’t be in relationship if we don’t know each other. Shared experiences foster and strengthen relationships.

Some of you have been members of First Parish for decades…and others will be joining on Sunday. Whether you know two people at First Parish or two hundred; I invite you to intentionally broaden and deepen your relationships this summer.

Want to meet new people? Want to grow your faith? Want to have some fun and help us help others? PLEASE JOIN US ON SUNDAY AFTER CHURCH (AND A CUP OF COFFEE) FOR OUR “CALENDAR EVENT”. We’ll begin to talk about Summer-September events including Kindness Rocks and the Parish Green Concert Series, plus other offerings still to be determined. Over the next few months, we’ll have several opportunities to gather for fellowship, fun, and faith.  Through this meeting on June 9th, or a subsequent event, you may even make or strengthen friendships!

Church isn’t a building. It’s a gathered body of people. We are the church and we can do more good things together than we can independent of each other. Teamwork is essential in church and in community. This I know, for the Bible tells me so…

Philippians 2:1-2, 4 
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Romans 15:5-6
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 10:24-25 
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…. 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 


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