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'The Loneliest Generation'

I heard on the news this morning that Generation Z, 18-22 year olds, are being described as "the loneliest generation." They compared their loneliness to that of Millennials. And that was all I caught before I had to chase after one of my girls. But it stuck.

In an age when we are more connected than ever, we are also more isolated than ever.

I was talking to someone just last week about the costs and benefits of online shopping. We observed that the grocery store seems to be one of the last places where you actually interact with people: whether it is asking someone to help you reach for something on the top shelf or being asked by a smiling cashier (should you forego the self check out) "How is your day?"

But now, even our groceries are available with the click of a button. And I'll admit, this has been a great saving grace for me as a mom of little ones!

I wonder, though, at what price are we accepting these everyday conveniences? And how are our abilities to form meaningful connections and relationships impacted by our ever growing replacement of people with computers?

Who we are as a church seems important in the midst of an incredibly connected and totally lonely culture...

If someone asked me what my church was like, I think I could describe you all by summarizing my experience of worship last Sunday: really funny (never boring), incredibly smart (not just brainy smart, but street smart), serious but you don't take yourselves too seriously, and deeply authentic.

This is our community- the ones who will remind us who we are when at our lowest, and assure us that we are not alone. These are the ones who will show up at our hospital bedsides and call us when things go wrong.

Last night, I sat in the bleachers and watched our softball team kick butt (I mean enjoy some healthy competition!) at our first game of the season. As teammates high five'd and cheered each other on, I didn't think much of it. But as I reflect on the headline I heard this morning about young adults & loneliness, I realize how important ministries like these truly are. Whether it is the choir singing on Wednesdays and Sundays or the Lamplighters hitting the road for another trip, or the youth group gathering for weekly meetings, these groups offer us the opportunity to connect with others in an authentic faith community, and this is a gift.

I pray that in being welcomed into community that we might seek to welcome others and practice deep compassion for those who may be experiencing loneliness. 

With Gratitude,

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