← back to list

Connection Points

Posted by Susan Fleming on

I love our church family. So many of you have played a significant role in who God is shaping me to be. In the moment, often neither you nor I know that your words and actions have as much impact as they do, but I am trying to be more intentional in recognizing and reflecting on how God is using you! I am deeply aware that we who call Jesus our Lord are connected as brothers and sisters in Christ for eternity, and that encourages me daily.

We have called this church our home for over 38 years, but connection and relationship don’t happen instantly. The very first Sunday that we attended GPBC at the recommendation of a friend, God had a better plan than we did. We got the name wrong and headed for a church two blocks away from Greater Portland, but when we pulled up to the church door, it was closed, and no one was going in. We noticed activity two blocks down, so we dumped our idea and said, “Let’s go to that one instead.” Good choice, because at the end of the service we turned to each other and said, “I think we found our church.”

Our church has always had a reputation in creating a welcoming environment, but even with friendly people, relationships take time. We decided to jump in, so we said “yes” many times over the years to opportunities that connected us to others. If you’re looking for a way to connect, look at this week’s bulletin on the church app for ideas! Joining a small group was one of the easy ways for us to get to know people and to live more of life together. Our small group encouraged us to connect using the model of Acts and the early church, repeated throughout the New Testament – gather, share life, meet needs, eat food, and learn how to follow Jesus together.

Our pastors have been encouraging us to make connections and build relationship wherever we find ourselves, to be available and ask what the Holy Spirit wants us to do, with whom and where. If I really trust that God is in all our moments, whether joyful or painful, then I can be more intentional and aware of those moments where I have contact with another person. I am so thankful to our church family for creating opportunities and new ways to connect and share life in our neighborhoods, workplace, extended family, etc. The important thing for me is to remember that God is in the midst of every connection that I have made or will make.

A couple of recent examples for me are the women’s Bible study in Genesis, where we are reminded of God’s great love for the people He created and His perfect plan for us that was destroyed by our disregard for the relationship God designed; and the Women’s Retreat in October which highlighted my need for and pursuit of connection. We were given the gift of time to be with each other in a beautiful location and connect with Jesus while we listened to women’s stories. I came away with a deeper sense of belonging because I took the time to connect.

Thank you, my dear church family for your connections in my life. May you find connection points with others in new or deeper ways!

Every time your name comes up in my prayers, I say, “Oh, thank you, God!” I keep hearing of the love and faith you have for the Master Jesus, which brims over to other believers. And I keep praying that this faith we hold in common keeps showing up in the good things we do, and that people recognize Christ in all of it. Friend, you have no idea how good your love makes me feel, doubly so when I see your hospitality to fellow believers. Philemon 1:7 (MSG)

to leave comment