Weekly Devotion with Kim Wu
Many years ago, I came pretty close to leaving Centreville United Methodist Church. The reason? I felt like an unwelcome outsider.
Fast forward to today, and I am incredibly glad I didn’t leave. I love CUMC. I feel deeply connected to the church and the people that make up the church. My faith has grown and continues to grow through the experiences I have had here. Thanks to staff members and others that encouraged me, I am working and volunteering in an area of ministry that I find deeply rewarding and enjoyable. It’s the dream job I didn’t even know to dream about.
But let’s backtrack to when I felt like an outsider.
I was marginally connected here, having volunteered to teach children’s Sunday School classes, but was really wanting more. There was an announcement in the bulletin about an opening in a covenant group, and the idea of joining felt like an answer to that need.
But by the time I inquired about the opening, the slot was filled and there were no other covenant group openings available for me.
I may experience a “vulnerability hangover” after admitting this, but I felt so unwanted at that point, that it brought me to tears. And I felt let down by the church, turned away when I wanted to get connected and go deeper in my faith.
To be fair, I know it can be complicated to add someone to an existing group. And sometimes it can take a little time to get someone moved into a group, either by forming a new group or working within the existing structure.
When Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me,” He wasn’t only referring to children. He was talking about anyone who we may consider the least esteemed, the least renowned. Might that include the least connected, who are hungering for connection and growth?
“If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Service can take many forms.
I eventually did join a covenant group. A few years after I tried to join a group, someone took notice of my desire to learn and grow, and invited me in.
An invitation has tremendous power to make someone feel welcomed. And it can change a life.
If you are interested in joining a small group, you can contact Pastor Marti and she will help you find the place of belonging and growth that God may be calling you to.