Finding Connection in a Disconnected World

Finding Connection in a Disconnected World

I love our new seasonal worship graphic. It depicts two hands reaching toward one another, each hand emblazoned with words evoking the spirit of coming together. “Reach out.” “Collaborate.” “Assist.” “Unite.” The hands aren’t quite touching, but they’re getting there. It’s a hopeful image.

We are close to returning to in-person ministry activities at New Joy. As announced via email on June 2, New Joy will be returning to in-person, outdoor fellowship gatherings starting June 14 (coinciding with Back on Track Indiana Stage 4), and in-person, outdoor worship a few weeks after that. We are close to getting back together, but we're not there quite yet. And even when we do return, it will feel a bit different, disrupted, disjointed.

Throughout this pandemic, the church has gathered in new ways. We have learned new ways of connecting with God and with each other. It has been and continues to be a learning curve. I am grateful for the ways we are finding connection.

The events of the past week and a half have reminded us of the sinful disconnection and discord that persists in our society. 56 years after the passing of the Civil Rights Act, our society continues to be marred by massive divisions between black and white Americans. Our nation’s racist history – 250 years of the legal enslavement of black people, and 100 years of crushing Jim Crow policies – and its ongoing legacy have created a system in which pretty much every quality of life indicator is lower for black Americans than it is for white Americans. That is an indictment. Our nation needs repentance, healing, understanding, and connection.

The wonderful graphic for this season depicts two hands – both shaded black – with different color words marked on them. One hand marked with red words, the other with blue, this graphic depicts two different hands coming together to seek the same thing. May we at New Joy be part of that connection which our community and our nation so desperately needs.

Marcia Rufener is our website designer and maintainer. She also makes some of the graphics we use for our bulletin, website, and social media. She has been a blessing to us over the past few years. Marcia designed this CONNECTED graphic a few weeks ago, before the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. It wasn’t until after those events that I reviewed the several graphics she prepared as options, and saw just how perfectly this CONNECTED graphic fits for our times. It truly is amazing how the Holy Spirit works.

By the grace of God we are connected. Despite whatever tries to separate us, nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38). In this disconnected season, let us live as people of faith connected to God and to each other for the sake of the world.

Pastor Chris