What do you say about yourself when you meet someone for the first time? What are the important facts that describe who you are? We tend to be pretty concrete in what we say…we talk about where we live, where we work, what our family situation is. It’s much less common to meet someone and start describing your qualities, “I’m a loyal, hard-working person”, unless of course you are in a job interview.
How do we introduce our congregation? If you know someone who you’d like to invite to church, what do say about us? Or if there’s a newcomer to church, how would you describe us?
That’s the dilemma we face on our website. We have an “About us” tab. In our statistics page on the blog, I can see that since we put our website up, that tab has been clicked 923 times. Take a minute to go there today, and ask yourself whether you think it describes us well. Some of the newcomers to our church came because they found us on-line. Recently we’ve added a new little video to this tab that describes who Mennonites are. Do you think it’s a good representation?
If you have other suggestions for the website, please let myself or Nathan Scott our webmaster know. First impressions are important!
This week’s prayer: God, help us to be a welcoming church, in our words and in our actions.
What kind of phone did you have in your house growing up? Ours was an avocado green wall model (rotary of course, because you had to pay more for touchtone), and it was in the kitchen. When you talked to people on the phone, everyone could hear what you said. I remember having a gossipy giggly conversation with my girlfriend, and feeling my father’s stern gaze upon me.
My fondest dream was to have a phone in my own room so I could have private conversations like the people in the movies. It was possible to buy an extension phone from Bell Canada in those days, but it cost a lot of money (probably $6 a month), and that was a luxury. Very un-Mennonite. I only knew one person who had two phones in their house. I also remember listening to my grandmother on the phone. She called my aunt the minute something newsworthy happened. My sisters and I called it “the hot-line to Virgil”.
Today in our house we have a landline with two receivers that you can take anywhere, even in the backyard, and we have an answering machine. And all four people in my family each have their own cellphone. Our cup runneth over with communication tools. Surely goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives!
I wonder though, am I closer to my friends than I used to be? Is our church community more connected than ever because we’re all carrying cellphones? Do I communicate more on the phone than my parents did because I have more tools? When I think about it, I think I probably use the phone less than my parent’s generation, because I email a lot of people, so I don’t have to phone them. That’s ironic. It’s more convenient and easier to phone than ever before, but I look for ways to avoid phoning if I can. I guess to save time . Or something. Hmmm…what is it?
This Sunday we’ll be trying to put the words “God” and “cellphone” in the same sentence. What will we come up with?
God’s answering machine message: “Why are you calling me? I’m standing right beside you!”