The Oasis - June 30, 2021
Author: Reverend Eric Dupee
June 30, 2021
June 30, 2021
Community cannot feed for long on itself; it can only flourish where always the boundaries are giving way to the coming of others beyond them – unknown and undiscovered brothers and sisters.
I often encourage church members to go beyond their comfort zone. It is commonly asserted that occasionally experiencing a little discomfort is healthy. It is when growth and learning often take place. In numerous instances, Jesus stretched beyond the familiar and comfortable. He also put his disciples in scary and uncomfortable situations.
Last week I practiced what I preached. I put on a red clown nose and joined nearly forty members and friends of First Parish to march through the Village Woods housing community. We dressed in goofy clothes, sang songs, and played kazoos. The hope was to meet our neighbors, spread some joy, and build community.
It’s hard enough for this introvert to speak in front of familiar people each Sunday in the sanctuary. To join a public parade and become the center of attention in such a loud and obvious way was a stretch. But I’m so glad I did it. I enjoyed seeing our church members be the church out in the community. I enjoyed seeing smiles on the faces of the residents we encountered. I enjoyed my conversations with the people I met.
I think Howard Thurman was right when he wrote, “Community cannot feed for long on itself; it can only flourish where always the boundaries are giving way to the coming of others beyond them…” Last week, in some small way, the boundary between our church and the town of York “gave way.” Thank you to Cindy Bufithis for spearheading the parade and thank you to all who led singing, baked cookies, and supported the event in all kinds of ways.
A prisoner of hope,