On a recent Sunday, after listening to Pastor Flora’s sermon about who are our “angels” and who we might be an angel for, I was struck by the congruence of that message with Pastor Justin’s request that we “look out for” those in our “section” (and beyond) in church each Sunday. Often, we might be an angel to people with whom we have a close relationship — perhaps a family member, best friend, or possibly a co-worker. But I took from our Pastors the message that sometimes we can also be an angel to the person whom we only know by the back of their head in the pew in front of us.
My family has made several friendships since joining Ascension in the Summer of 2010. But I know one thing I could do better is make more “acquaintances”, to broaden my community of faith at Ascension. I was thinking that, in doing so, I might increase the possibility that I can be a support for a new person who maybe struggled to make it to church at all, is now appreciative that someone said “good morning”, and made them feel welcome. Or, the person who is a “regular” but maybe hasn’t been around in a bit and feels missed when we ask how they’ve been. I remember the first time I attended a service at Ascension and everybody had on a name tag. I assumed it was for the benefit of visitors, not realizing it was Pastor Justin’s second week, and it was to help him get to know people. I loved it, as I’m usually all about the name tags. Name tags can take away some of the awkwardness of not knowing a person’s name (or not being able to remember it, even if you had been introduced 100 times) But, they can also let you off the hook from making a more personal connection by providing your name, asking theirs, and maybe even a follow-up question.
So, while we don’t have name tags anymore, I support our Pastor’s efforts to tighten the community of faith at Ascension (with both “regulars” and “newbies” especially) through personal contact and follow up. One thing about being an “angel” to someone is that you may never actually know that you were. You may never know the impact of your words but that doesn’t mean the impact isn’t there. So, I encourage us all to step out of our comfort zone, greet one another warmly, welcome new faces with genuine enthusiasm, and notice those who are missing. These simple actions may just make you someone’s angel for a day.