I have a Bluetooth headset for my phone.  When I turn it on, it goes through a process to set it up.  The voice says, “POWER ON, BATTERY HIGH (or medium or low)” and then there is a brief pause and it is not long before the voice comes back with “CONNECTED.”  I have to admit, every time I hear that I am connected, I get a small jolt of joy.  Maybe it is because it took a while for me to get the thing working and to connect easily.  Maybe it is because many of my other Bluetooth items do not seem to work as well.  I think it is because each of us have a desire to be connected.

This past week the member of Flowing Grace were blessed to join a sister church, Fourth Street, in worship.  I was thrilled at how many of you took the effort to attend and it was a great day.  The worship and then fellowship afterwards was joyful and meaningful.  We lived out what John Wesley claimed as one of the important pillars of our denomination, connectionalism.  According to a blog from Boston University, connectionalism is…

“a peculiarly Methodist understanding of what it means to be the church.  According to connectionalism, the church is defined not by formal structures or doctrine or lines of authority.  It’s defined by connections between people: connections between pastor and pastor, between pastor and laity, and between laity and laity.  When The United Methodist Church claims to be a connectional church, that means that we hold such interpersonal connections in so high a regard that we understand them as the essence of the church” (

I invite you to live this out in 2018.  Your faith walk is connectional.  You must be connected to God through prayer and study.  You must be connected to community through worship and fellowship activities.  You must connect to strangers through mission or building a relationship with Fourth Street.  After all, Scripture tells us that we might be entertaining angels without even knowing it.

While I love to have alone time and could spend weeks at a time alone in the woods or in my garden.  But the reality is, without others, without community without faith in a group, I will find that I am truly lonely and lost.  God gave us the gift of community and connection.  Let’s open and use that gift in 2018.

See you in church on Sunday!  I hope EVERYONE tries to attend this week.  It feels so good when we are all together.  Please do everything you can to join us on Sunday!