photo © 2010 Ted | more info (via: Wylio)All human beings want to belong to a group, whether it is a biological family, a peer group, an association, or some other group. We want to be accepted as well as feeling there is freedom to be ourselves within the group. Sometimes this group acceptance is easier to achieve than other times.
As a clergy woman in the United Methodist Church, I attend the executive or clergy session of my annual conference. These are my colleagues, my peers, and siblings in the family of God. These are my people. I have felt various senses of belonging as a part of this group. In previous years, I have noticed how young I was in comparison to my colleagues. Now, I am not as young as I was. There are others who are younger than me. I am still in the minority as far as gender is concerned.
Yet when we the clergy stand to sing together, I realize again that indeed I am with my people, singing the praises of God, seeking God’s will, and reaffirming our commitment to serve. We are each uniquely and wonderfully made. We may disagree on polity and theology, but we are bound to one another.
It is my prayer that you have a body in which you belong. It is my prayer that you have a sense of belonging with a group of people who are praising God, seeking God’s will, and committed to serving God.