There we were, our little group of eleven, gathered together in convention; the first ever virtual convention of LWMLC. This was nothing at all like other conventions where 200 women came together in a convention hall, exchanging hugs and catching up. This was not something any of us could ever have imagined, and yet here we were.
As Patti did her morning devotion I sat at the back of the room and looked at the backs of the heads of the women in front of me and tears gathered in my eyes. I was suddenly overwhelmed by the love I have for these women who have been examples to me of how “Christ lives in me.” I was also surprised at how much I had missed being in this place, my church home. I realized I had probably become complacent during our COVID-19 lockdown. I felt, mistakenly it would seem, that all was good for at least I was getting some “church” on Sunday mornings. I was “attending” online, from the comfort of my living room recliner, tea close by, my cross-stitch work on my lap. Does it get any better than that?!
Turns out that it does! In a “normal” life nothing brought me joy like going to church on a Sunday morning to attend Bible study with a group I’ve been part of for 20 years. How I’ve enjoyed sitting in our fellowship hall between services, drinking my tea and having good conversation with a fellow parishioner. To top it all off I enter our sanctuary to hear the Word of God, recite the comforting words of our liturgy and sing hymns I love with those around me.
In the past when someone would state that you don’t need to go to church to be a Christian, I would disagree. That will continue to be the case; even more so now! While I’m sure there may be lots of Christians who don’t feel the need to attend a corporate church or for some reason are unable to, they are likely much more disciplined than I am. For me, I need my church, the physical building; the people within it, as well as all those I’ve met because of it (many of them being the wonderful women of the LWMLC). Being in that environment strengthens and helps ground my faith. This time in COVID has made that very apparent to me. As much as we’re told that we are the church, and that where two or more are gathered Christ is there, I like that I have a structured place to go where many people gather.
I’m so excited at the prospect of attending, face to face, our district convention in 2022, and the national convention in 2024! I look forward to sharing in discussions how Christ has been using us; to the casual flow of verbal banter and actually participating in the Bible studies. To meeting in a hotel room, or by the pool, with fellow attendees for snacks and wine. And to hearing stories from those who walk where our mission dollars go support them.
While I commend the convention committee for doing a great job in putting on a virtual convention, nothing beats the hugs and fellowship of “real-life” being together!
I also thank you for reminding me of how important a church home is!