We talk a lot about community and family and relationships here at Bathurst Uniting, and it is important to our identity and mission as a church that everyone is welcomed and feels that they belong. But not everyone finds it easy to connect socially. And sometimes it’s surprising how little we really know our ’neighbours’ – even within the church – especially since we’ve been blessed to add a number of new people to our fellowship in the last year – not least, our brothers and sisters from Perthville. How do we enfold people in Christian community – at, but also beyond, our Sunday morning gatherings?
I’d like to challenge us to make this month ‘Be-friending Month’. The challenge is, sometime during June, to invite to coffee/tea, or lunch, or dinner – or otherwise to ‘get together with’ – one or two people you don’t know well, or don’t usually socialise with, from church. Perhaps someone who is new, or on the margins a bit… Share a hobby, or a group, or a meal, or a film… Perhaps you’ll encourage someone and help them feel that they belong. Perhaps you’ll make a new friend or two. And if you’re really up for a challenge, try adding to the mix a person or two from outside the church. But please start somewhere, this month. ‘By this shall all people know that you are my disciples,’ said Jesus, ‘by your love for one another.’