Actually, doesn’t merit an exclamation.
Last Sunday, I received an invitation to KHR’s Women’s Association dedication service. This took place this evening and a most enjoyable time was had. I wonder, does it mean you’ve ‘arrived’ when the Guild or the Women’s Association invite you to something? I don’t mean that in any derogatory way at all. After all, where would the church be without the army of women who support it and keep much of it functioning? So, although a little tongue-in-cheek, the question does have a serious point. If one ever hopes to achieve anything in any church, without the support of such groups, it would be a pretty much impossible task. The KHR group had an impressive turnout and appear to have a pretty packed weekly calendar to keep everyone interested and occupied.
I was reminded of the time of our vacancy. I was on the vacancy committee and at one of the meetings we were being reminded that our concern was the minister. The minister’s family, and any expected commitment from them, should have no bearing on our decision. Our then Session Clerk (with his usual wicked sense of humour) pointed out that maybe the minister’s husband wouldn’t want to be president of the Women’s Guild. There was appreciative laughter until his point sank in and there were one or two furrowed brows. (Does this count as an anecdote?)
Anyway, it was really nice to have been invited along (and get to munch cakes at the guest table). I do very much appreciate the way individuals and groups have made me feel so welcome at KHR – very much part of the congregation right from the start. I do hope that this is reflected in the way any new face would be treated and isn’t purely a special welcome simply because of my situation. But I do get the impression that any stranger would be welcomed.
On a more personal reflective note, I’ve also appreciated this friendliness in another way. It makes it easier to speak to people. That might sound an odd thing to say but it’s an acknowledgement of an area I often struggle with – the art of idle chit-chat. I can have a conversation with someone, I can discuss issues, I can express opinions – just don’t ask me to chat about the weather or the price of cheese in Asda. I find chit-chat awkward, always have. But with people being so friendly it makes it a lot easier to have a casual conversation and practice a much-needed skill.