The Happy Days Cafe is open again in Mattawan for indoor sipping. Rykse’s in Texas Corners is open for indoor dining. And as I sat here this morning enjoying my chorizo bowl, and meeting with someone new to ReCAST Church, I ran into 7 different people that stopped by my table to say “Hi!”
There is something about community that has been in jeopardy over the past few months of closures. The economic loss for these businesses has been devastating. But the community lost has been equally troubling. We are meant to be more than a “connected-on-the-weekend” kind of people. The church is not a building, but it also is not merely a worship service for an hour on Sunday morning. We are people living together in community.
As much as I am grateful for the Sunday morning gathering, I have also missed the weekly connections in community that happen at the coffee shop and the local restaurant. This morning reminded me of that missing element of my ministry. I have been so glad for the connections.
I am a community pastor. I am a pastor in relationship to many who are inside and outside ReCAST. Some stop by and talk to me because they attend ReCAST Church. Others stop by just because we have built a relationship by enjoying the same coffee or the same breakfast.
God works in the providence of these encounters. And I am glad that we are once again able to resume the activities that allow for these God-ordained connections. Covid has taken so much of our lives for the past several months, and yet I am reminded that God has even been in that. The virus, the governor, and the medical response to Covid-19 has not been out of God’s hands. All of this season has been for some reason. I would not even begin to venture a guess at this early stage what we are supposed to be learning. But I can tell you that I am definitely moved to a deeper appreciation for these providential encounters that I have been missing for months!