Easter is still with us and as the weather warms, flowers bloom and trees leaf out (ironic in that today's weather includes snow)...a veritable feast of church programs are emerging:
Episcopal Walk Run Club; 4.5.6 Book Club; Creating Camp: a fine arts based vacation Bible school (July 20th-25th); strawberries and steel drums (June 7th following services); oh, and of course, monthly home Eucharists.
As I prepare for these programs, I wonder about community formation in the early church. We gain a sense of belonging through these various "programs", programs meant to allow a gentle entry point into community, programs meant to attend to the interests and needs of our community. But, when I compare our own community formation to that of the early church (which we read about throughout this Easter season) I am struck that the early church was bound together by persecution, suffering and the Eucharistic feast--oppression was their glue and belief their guide. They were not planning summer outings to the symphony nor were they trying to burn off the calories from a few too many cookies at coffee hour.
I don't mean to say that we have no sense of shared suffering in our community (many of us do and have found shelter in our welcoming and affirming community), nor do I mean to say that we are shallow in our concerns (we aren't--we have numerous outreach projects). But, I do wonder, are we all perhaps longing for something more?