The Joy of Being With

On Wednesday we held our first vespers for the year.  Vespers is an evening meditative service and it is also a way to find a little more connection in one’s week. And this time, once again, we did it a way we had never done it before.

Another week—another worship format as we seek ways to offer as many choices as possible to our community which has such a diverse range of needs.

This format worked well for those of us on campus and not quit as well for those who were off-site. The air was cool and the breeze insistent and it was great to sing quietly to ourselves and to be able to once again look around an actual circle and see actual people. The joy of “being with” was our topic.

As I mentioned, the format didn’t work as well for those listening. We used a new device that apparently didn’t connect the music as well. Right after the service, we began to consider what needed improvement. Ideas were flying—many of them involving technical discussions above my knowledge grade.   We were committed to letting as many people as possible “be with.” And we weren’t going to stop as long as we could make it better.

On that Wednesday night, the trees swayed and danced, a small electronic device on a table in the midst of us tried to figure out which of us was speaking at any given moment, and afterwards people could introduce themselves to one another. Nothing spectacular, just the kind of semi-ordinary experience of “being with,” the kind we now know are precious.

Here were the words of affirmation we shared with one another:

Truly I am grateful for this gift of connection.

For the meeting of eyes and the awareness of presence.

Presence, the blessing of accompaniment

The willingness of a listening ear

The joy of two souls greeting

We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. For now let’s celebrate the joy of “being with.”

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