I walked in and saw the group of you, people I didn’t know but did. It was good to see you. Good to be with you. Good to be both known and unknown by you.

When one of you stretched out that familiar arm, draped in black and pointed to the wall, I took the invitation and the smile with it and went to my seat.

The old cushion was, like every face, a reminder. A reminder of things from before. Of organ music and hugs. Of cracked pieces of crackers and juice. Of microphones and fans. Of old people and young people. Of splendid togetherness.

Starting with you for those hours and hearing my senior colleague speak to his beloved relative about what was ahead; tracking the promise in the midst of a church’s choice to call a new pastor; praying for the strength of your emerging bond as church and leader; it was all familiar and wonderful. It was all new and unknown.

It was a faith community doing what faith communities do. It was good to be with you.

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