I was really overwhelmed by the service, the day, the speeches. So many young people in the service, friends, family and the church goers who had come to wish the couple well on their day. The songs were beautiful, and to my delight there was a chap playing the guitar, wearing a wooly jumper and tweed jacket, with beard and glasses! It became apparent as the day went on that there was a strong sense of faith but ultimately - community. The coming together of people for a shared belief or interest creates a community, where firm friendships are made, where love grows and people flourish. I was really surprised by the amount of 'young' people there, as I often think of Christian type religions being for the older generation, it was so nice to see these young, beautiful people celebrating together.
When I was little I did go to a Christadelphian church group, in fact all my friends did, on a Friday evening, because they made a youth group, they put on activities, there were biscuits and squash and a little bit of bible, BUT ultimately it was a place where we could go and see our friends on a Friday night. Where we were welcomed and had a safe place to play.
I have been reading ALOT recently about what makes us happy... and the answer seems to be, being part of a community, being part of something where you feel you belong, but also is part of a greater good... giving help to others, being there for others and contributing to society.
Our modern lives, the increase in social media, only isolate us from 'real' people and conversations. Scrolling through social media IS NOT real life, rates of depression, anxiety and loneliness are on the increase... 'Social' media... is ain't!
Community is where it is at. Next week I will be attending carols by candle light. I love going every year, I love being part of the group, the singing of hymns and the seeing the people that have ensured it happens and talking after over a glass of mulled wine and mince pies.
Religion has left many of our lives, only re-appearing at Christmas, weddings, funerals and christenings. What a shame, as with that we loose community, which I am starting to believe IS the biggest benefit of religion, to be part of a social group, to sing together, to meet weekly, to be part of something GREATER that just yourself.
What is your community? Who are your tribe?