The program year is underway, and things are hopping at Holy Comforter! Our website is covered with details about programs, our coffee hours have been filled with opportunities to get involved, and our weekends have been booked with trainings, open houses, and kick-offs. All of this generates energy and excitement for those who are already involved, but it can be pretty overwhelming for folks who are newer to our community.
While there are some people who are ready to jump in on day one and get to work, there are many more people who need some time. Maybe they need time to get the lay of the land. Maybe they need time to rest, or to figure things out. Or maybe they need some time to get to know some people and make a few friends. Whatever they need, and however long they need it, it’s okay. One of the advantages of being a program size church is that there is room for everyone: from those who need to sit, listen, and be fed, to those who thrive on daily tasks to do around campus. People need to adjust their level of involvement to compliment the season of their life, and that’s okay.
One of the challenges to being a program sized church is that it is harder to get to know people, and harder to get involved when we’re ready. There are a lot of unfamiliar faces, and even for the most outgoing people, it’s overwhelming to try connect with them all. That is where all of those programs and opportunities to get involved come in. Each of those gatherings or projects is a chance for people to get to know one another in a more meaningful way, and to build smaller communities within our larger one. It is those smaller communities where people can develop friendships, get and give support, and find their home. If we aren’t careful, those small groups can become closed and unwelcoming, but if we are intentional about it, they can be niches where people are loved, fed, and empowered to do God’s work in the world.
You may have noticed an array of postcards in Maglaras Hall over the last few weeks. Those cards are invitations for us to give those who are looking for their niche. A compilation of all the cards will be printed in a few weeks in our new “Newcomer’s Guide”, but the individual cards are there for us to hand to someone who might be interested in a specific ministry or program. Please feel free to take one, put it in someone’s hand, and use it as a conversation starter. Use one to invite someone to a ministry that you’re passionate about, or use one to invite someone to a ministry you know nothing about, but think they might enjoy. It’s all about helping people find the niche that’s right for them!
Why is finding your niche important? When you have a niche, you have familiar faces to greet during coffee hour. When you have a niche, you have people around you who can support you, and you can support in turn. When you have a niche, you have ownership in the community, and the work we do together. When you have a niche, you have a place of belonging. Let’s help everyone find their niche!
Jamie Rumsey, Senior Warden