Breaking Bread Together: What's wrong with air conditioning, attached garages and garage door openers?
The first house I grew up in had a front porch, so did many of our neighbor's houses. Like everyone else, our garage was detached from our house. We actually had to manually open and close the door and walk from the garage to the house. Imagine that! We did have A/C, but it was limited to a couple of rooms because it was a small window unit.
Due to this reality, we were often outside our house going to and from the garage as well as sitting on the front porch or playing in the front and back yard just like everyone else in our neighborhood. It was natural for the kids to play and the parents to talk. Believe it or not we actually had both unstructured play time for kids and community interaction between adults. Both happened naturally.
My how times have changed. For many of us, the most we interact with our neighbors is the compulsory wave of our hand from atop the steering wheel as we pass by one another driving in and out of the neighborhood. We often don't know each other's names.
Do you ever wonder what happened to our sense of community? Convenience. We attached our garages, discovered central heating and air and automatic garage door openers. Now, we can go from work or the store and back home, press a button to open and close the garage without exiting our cars and from there walk straight into our climate controlled kitchens and living rooms without having to hardly acknowledge anyone else exists.
The kids stay inside because not only is it too hot outside, but there are a multitude of electronic gadgets to keep them happy and contained. Our schedules are full with structured activity that when we get home, we just want to veg out.
I wonder with all of our technological advances and the desire for our kids and grandkids to have a multiplicity of experiences and opportunities for sports and hobbies, if our communities are any healthier than they were in years gone by. I wonder if we are more connected or disconnected from authentic community?
What I do know is that we were created for community with God and one another and we are living in a time where this is getting more and more pushed towards the fringes of society. I think Face Book and other social media formats can be helpful as a stop gap, but they are a poor substitute for face-to-face relationships and warm human interaction.
Can we recapture community? Yes, but we have to plan it in today's world. I know as a Pastor who is focusing on "young" families at The Church of The Cross, I desire for people in this phase of life from our church and community to be more connected, especially those who are frazzled due to the harrowing pace of life with children.
To this end we are planning a summer ministry for "young" families to get together in each other's homes once a month starting in the month of May for a meal and fellowship. We are calling this a ministry of "Breaking Bread Together." If you are interested click here to get connected.
Breaking Bread Together is a great way to fill the void of disconnection created by our fast-pace and discover what life is all about, namely connecting with God and one another.