These past few weeks at Snowmass Chapel have reminded me of the importance of the work of the Church, and by that I mean YOU.

Interestingly, one of the things we all did during the pandemic is pull waaaay back. Back from unnecessary travel, back from overloaded calendars, and back from expectations that no longer served us. It was a time of re-evaluating what’s really important.

And what I’ve noticed is, the good stuff stayed. Just in the past few weeks I’ve witnessed some remarkable good stuff going on:

  • Community-wide ladies’ luncheon hosted by women of the Chapel.
  • Monthly just-for-fun gatherings with teens and tweens.
  • The advent of another ridiculously popular Camp SmashBox.
  • Weddings in the sanctuary, in the garden, at the Hotel Jerome, and in wide open fields.
  • Baptisms and the blessings of babies yet to be born.
  • Funerals, memorials, and the honoring of loved ones who’ve died.
  • Counseling sessions outdoors by the creek, walking meditations, and quietude.
  • Picnics and bike rides and laughter among friends after church services.
  • Beloved community built on Zoom.
  • Outdoor worship that feeds the soul.

You know what all of this tells me? YOU are the good stuff. You are the church. Never ever doubt that churches exist because people long to come together in community to love and serve one another. The sense of belonging that we all crave comes from our inextricable sense of connection – we are hard-wired for relationship. The world might have us believe that we are losing that connection, that we are more divided than ever, that we are more DIFFERENT than we are ALIKE. But I’m not buying it.

The sacredness and mystery of our faith isn’t in the sacraments themselves – it’s in us! Paul writes “As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ… Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 27).

Coming together for one hour on Sunday mornings doesn’t make a church (although, to be fair, it’s a GREAT place to start!). We – you, I – are the Church. We are the communal witness and glory of God, the goodness of God. The presence of God. Our interconnectedness – despite (or maybe because of!) our differences – is holy.

So many things in this world threaten to pull us apart. It is a marvel and a testament to God that we are brought closer in times of trouble. The pandemic forced us to look at so many issues in our personal lives, in our communities, and in the world, and to ask questions like, What’s really important? What’s worth keeping and what needs to be tossed out? Where does my attitude need to be transformed? What behaviors am I ready to change?

We may have pulled back from extracurriculars, but there is a heightened sense of what really matters now. And what matters is the Church in the very best sense of the word. I love us.