Aside from religion there is definitely a community that comes from interaction in church. All churches offer it to some extent; our ward families are pretty spectacular at providing it. We are probably good at it, in part, because we’re a lay ministry. Since members hold callings and pretty much run organizations within a ward, we’ve honed a few service skills along the way.
In any given week there are countless examples of the nurturing each other that are a direct result of our church community.
Last week Brother Wardle spoke in Sacrament meeting and gave some details on a heart attack he’d suffered a few months ago. During his hospital stay the staff thought he must be a celebrity because he had so many visitors. His Bishop came, President Hodgman came, and a constant flow of visitors from his ward came. His popularity as a patient had some of the nurses convinced he was famous. But honestly, Brother Wardle is really just blessed to have a ward family.
Our ward has helped several young families move in recently and we’ve even helped a few leaving (though Brent prefers those arriving versus departing!). Our Elder’s quorum can load vans like professional movers.
Our ward family helped a young mom with rides after a seizure didn’t allowed her to drive for several months. Last week an older woman (how about 93 years old!) had health troubles and with one phone call her son had numerous ward members attending to her. And this week at our young women’s camp in the Santa Cruz mountains, leaders donate their entire week to be with teenage girls.
These things happen all the time, people rally, pitch in, and life goes on. Or, if it doesn’t (ie. death), the church community assists with funerals too! :)
Our ward sisters enjoyed our our annual garden brunch last Saturday and although it’s purely a social event, many hands make it happen (men set up tables and chairs, women bringing food, etc.).
So, whether it’s service or social, a birth or a death, moving in or out, sickness or injury, our church is stellar in it’s ability to mobilizes forces. So, yes, besides worship, it’s one of the things I love about church, the focus on serving each other. Which, if I think about it, service really is just another form of worship itself!
"Teenagers who do not to to church are adored by God, but they don’t get to meet some of the people who love God back.” -Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith