It has been nearly a month since the October 6 Congregational Conversation, where we began sharing our hopes for our life together in the coming years. Though responses are still being gathered, it was hard to miss the expressed desire to better understand the situation in our immediate community: Who is in need? What is being done? Where are the gaps? How can we better serve our neighbors?
Just a week later, the Missions Commission began its Ethics Seminar on “Hunger in America,” educating us about the national issues, the Biblical imperatives, and the daily concerns facing many right here in Fairfax County. In the midst of this informative and powerful series, more than forty from our congregation hosted over sixty community children and adults at the RBC “Trunk N’ Treat” event. It was “a beautiful day in the neighborhood,” as Mr. Rogers would say; an opportunity to continue to reach out and get to know our neighbors, and to let them get to know us.
As I reflect on the past weeks I sense that there are larger meanings connecting these events, though I am finding that the “aha!” is a bit elusive. Is there something about loving our “neighbor” in the abstract that is connected to getting to know our actual neighbors? Is there something about being available to each other, for serious study and some “serious” fun, which results in a stronger sense of unity? I can’t quite put the pieces together on my own. Thankfully, I don’t have to. I am part of a beloved community, where I can sift all of this into the mix, as we continue to learn, listen, and open ourselves to the leading of the Spirit, together.