Sunday, 2 January 2011

A sense of belonging?

2011 and a new decade has begun. Happy New year to everyone.Ten years ago we were fully involved with the village we lived in. We had just helped to organise a successful millennium village party and there was a village walk the following morning on New Year's Day. The problems of living in a rural community were offset against the safe community that the children were growing up in. As parents we all kept an eye on the what the children were up to as they roamed around the village. They were effectively trapped within the village because of the difficulties of transport but this had it advantages if they were pre driving age.( I have mentioned previously, the problems of the lack of transport in rural villages.) This sense of community was very important to us when we lived abroad, old neighbours would write and keep us up to date with the village news and there was a strong sense of belonging.
The Methodist church that we attended in Gibraltar made us feel so welcome and had a strong tradition of hospitality and community. Since then we have visited several churches abroad and felt this same welcome - where church is not just for Sundays. The Curate and I wonder if this is because the congregations are made up of people  far from home and the church becomes a real family. We always try to attend a church service when we are abroad and have been amazed by the openness and welcome we have received. So often, the services have a real sense of spirituality that comes from friends worshipping together in one place. I miss this warmth of welcome and struggle to find any sense of belonging at the moment. But maybe this is my problem and I intend to deal with it this year.

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