This week I've been challenged by friends to examine "connections" -- so here goes:
Self: Who was your hero/heroine when you were about 10 years old?
I have always taken a shine to heroic righters of wrongs: Robin Hood, Zorro, Sherlock Holmes. I also was moved by people who overcame obstacles -- disability, prejudice -- to become change agents in the world. Those were my heroes when I was that age.
Family: Who are you most like? Who is most like you?
I think dispositionally I borrow heavily from both parents. But the person most like me I think was my maternal grandmother, a lady I never got to know because she died when I was 2. She was very creative and bright; despite a rough start in life thanks to an evil stepmother right out of a Brothers Grimm story and a life of poverty and illness, she found joy and beauty in books, in music, in nature, in the domestic arts.
Friends: How do you stay in touch?
The much-maligned Facebook has been a real tool for me to find and keep in touch with old friends from various ages/stages in my life. A recent find was an old pen pal I hadn't been in contact with in almost 30 years. Right now I'm trying to find friends from my "Cadillac years" (the Michigan city, not the automobile).
Neighborhood, community: What are ways you like to be involved?
Well, as frequent readers know we get to know our neighbors by doing business with them. As two transplants from elsewhere, we don't have familial or social connections in our town, but we've gotten to know a lot of locals through hiring service people or by patronizing farm stands and home-based businesses like our Amish friend Mary's basket and quilt shop.
Job/church: Do you see a need that will help in developing connections?
One of our weak areas at church is adult religious formation (education and guidance). I think that might someday provide a means for building relationships between people, but the trick is discerning what people need and want in terms of growing in discipleship. It's been our experience that floating new programs in a top-down way -- "We think people need X class, so here it is" -- is a sure way to fail. We've not yet discerned an organic desire for any kind of new group bubbling up within our congregation.
Editor's note: What are the connections in your life?
Find a link to Ellen Polzien’s blog "Lutheran Chik’s "L” Word Diary” at Lutheran Blogs.