Dixie Darr

21st Century Women

In spirituality on May 30, 2017 at 11:01 am

We spent a pleasant, rainy Saturday afternoon drinking green tea, eating coconut macaroons, and chatting.

The members of my church have been participating in journey groups to get to know church family better and to bond together in our beliefs and actions.

When I first joined fifteen years ago, the congregation only numbered about 60 people. In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell says having more than150 people in a group requires more restrictive rules and enforced norms. We want to avoid that.

Still, the common complaint voiced by even longtime members is that there are “so many people I don’t know.”

When the pastor invited us to sign up for the journey groups I wasn’t keen on it. As I keep telling you, I’m a loner by nature, and I already know probably more people than most because I arrive early and spend 10-15 minutes socializing before the service. Still, I’m a trustee and think I need to participate whenever I can even if I don’t really want to.

Only three people, all women, signed up for this group and I already knew the other two.

Our hostess, E, is a 90-year-old widow with failing eyesight and hearing although there is nothing wrong with her mind. She grew up in the neighborhood and started attending our church as a child.

At 31, A is bright, funny, and open. She does social work in health care, and seems surprised that after coming to our church as a one-time thing on Christmas Eve, she’s still coming and quite involved more than two years later.

I’m 69, and still trying to find my way in the post working world. I realized I was old enough not just to be A’s mother, but her grandmother.

We used a set of questions supplied by our pastor to stimulate our discussion starting with the one about having three people, living or dead, for dinner. E could only name her late husband. A named her grandfather, grandmother and aunt. I gave the answer I’ve written about (The Dinner Party)–two favorite authors and a good friend.

What would we like to learn? E would like to learn floral design, and she’d be good at it, but thinks it’s too late for her. A wishes she’d kept up her skills in French and Spanish. I want to learn piano and I have an (unused) electronic keyboard to prove it. Someday.

Mostly we talked about our church and what we like about it. Like A, I’m still surprised that I not only attend church regularly, but enjoy it. You’d think I’d be used to it after 15 years, and I am. Still, when I hear myself saying I did something or met someone “at church” as often as I do, I hear that little voice inside my head protesting, “I’m not even religious.”

Remember the verses in the Gospel of Mark,when Jesus asked “who are my mother and my brothers?” Looking at those seated in a circle around Him, He said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!”

Looking at these two women, I can say, “These are my sisters” and I’m proud to call them family.

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