17 June 2020
A Moment to Reflect – 44
Sharing in a service of Communion with a Waldensian Congregation in Buenos Aires
The online community is great—for those who are able to join in (of course many are excluded)—but it’s not the same as real community, actually meeting people face to face, being able to shake hands or share a hug. (I’ve just come from another online ‘Zoom’ meeting and it reminds me that so much of our communication with one another is non-verbal and you miss a lot of that when just watching someone on a screen and hearing their voice through speakers or headphones.)
Ask any grandparent only able to see and hear their grandchildren online, or having to stay 2 metres apart for now, if they think that those alternatives are anywhere near as good as meeting face to face and actually sharing a hug. I think I know what most will say.
‘Virtual’ Church too has its place—a vital place at the moment as it happens—but it’s not the same as really meeting with one another. We are after all, physical and social, as well as spiritual, beings.
In both respects—physical and spiritual— we need one another as Rachel Held Evans (our writer for the week) observed: “They reminded me that Christianity isn’t meant to simply be believed; it’s meant to be lived, shared, eaten, spoken, and enacted in the presence of other people. They reminded me that, try as I may, I can’t be a Christian on my own. I need a community. I need the church.”
― Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving and Finding the Church.