What Do We Have in Common?

  • June 3, 2014

2014-03-09 16.01.58One of Sunday Fellowship’s favorite games is “What Do We Have in Common?”  The game is played like this: several people are chosen that share a common characteristic.  The spectators guess what that characteristic is (e.g. they all wear glasses).  This game points out what we already know: people have things in common.  The common denominator of eyeglasses is fairly obvious. But there are other more substantial common denominators or similarities among the people assembled here today.

For instance, John works in Boston and takes the commuter rail into Boston. Does anyone else work in Boston or commute on the train?  Joyce works at TJ Maxx in Acton. She is concerned about how many hours she is assigned for work and how that affects her benefits. Does anyone else have similar employment concerns? The point is that we have many circumstances in common.

I love that word: common. It reminds me of Community. It reminds me of Communion.
Have you noticed that the communion table is on the main floor level today? Why? Because having the communion table up on the stage with this set of stairs to climb makes it inaccessible to many members of Sunday Fellowship.  By bringing the communion table down onto the COMMON GROUND, Cherita will be able to serve the communion bread from her wheelchair. Won’t that be a welcome sight? Sunday Fellowship is at the heart of West Concord Union Church. It would be unconscionable to exclude Cherita from the privilege and honor of serving communion just because she cannot climb the stairs in her wheelchair.

This Tuesday night June 3 at 7:00 liturgical design consultant Richard Vosko is meeting with members of our church community to begin the discussion of possible renovations to this sanctuary. These renovations will be considered as part of our church’s 125th anniversary celebration and in conjunction with a capital campaign. I’m excited about the possibilities this discussion will reveal. Possibilities that will expand our worship options, possibilities that will invigorate our common ground, possibilities that will include us all.

I recently attended a continuing education class that explored the characteristics of innovative thinking. The speaker told us about a company that has re-invented an old cliché. You know the cliché, “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.”  Well these innovative thinkers have turned that cliché on its head. The new thinkers instead say…are you ready?…“If it ain’t broken, break it!”

Can you imagine a room full of certified public accountants such as me being told, “If it ain’t broken, break it!” It took me a little while to warm up to this crazy new phrase, but I am convinced that now is the time for this innovative thinking at West Concord Union Church. The new phrase, “If it ain’t broken, break it!” in regard to our sanctuary renovations, says to me, be open to possibilities that you don’t even know exist.  Listen to each other’s dreams. The new phrase says, Dream bigger! Dream better! Dream about a common ground. Dream…about a common ground…where no one is excluded from serving communion because she cannot climb the stairs.

I’m looking out at this community and I see people who have a lot of things in common. I see a community where people have similar joys and concerns.  I see a community that values people of varying abilities.  I see a community that is ready to dream bigger for a church building that will serve in ways we don’t even know yet.  I see a community where everyone is welcome at the communion table.  Welcome to THIS table today. Welcome to our common ground.