Friday E-News | March 8, 2024

by Jennifer McBride on March 08, 2024

Dear saints, 

A week ago, I gathered with parishioners who are a part of St. Catherine’s Chapter, one of the many women’s groups at All Saints’ who get together on a regular basis for fellowship and sometimes a program. As we went around the room introducing ourselves, one person shared how important the friendships in this group have been to her and her family. When she and her spouse visited the church fifteen years ago, they liked the worship service but were unsure if this was the place for them, until she went to a St. Catherine’s social gathering and the next Sunday had the experience of seeing the familiar faces of her new friends.


Friendship is something that we might take for granted at All Saints’, because it seems to come so easy for us as a community. This is a parish that likes a good party. We love to get together, be it for a Newcomers gathering at someone’s home or at a construction site for a Habitat for Humanity build. But scholars of congregational studies tell us that perhaps the greatest challenge for most churches today is how hard it is to make and sustain real friendships there. Add to that the fact that we are living in an increasingly secular age and in a time of frenzied busyness, one sees why fun and meaningful friendships are vital for the future of the church.


It may seem out of order in Lent to highlight our penchant for parties, but Jesus himself liked a good party and always used the occasion to cast the net of friendship as wide as possible, intentionally including people who were normally left out. And it was as he made his way toward the cross — the time we mark during the season of Lent — that He said to his disciples,


“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”


“You are my friends" (John 15:12-13).



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