Why FPCV Is Special to Me
I was at my college fraternity’s bi-annual Convention two weeks ago in Malvern, PA and attended a seminar about how individual chapters need to see themselves and how they need to be seen by others. The presenter indicated that the fraternity system is not broken but it does need to be presented differently to appeal to today’s college student. My fraternity has always been one that emphasizes service and making responsible decisions (not easy for college kids) and provides great education for its members.
As I sat in that presentation and listened to the presenter remind the audience that fraternity is all about relationships and building relationships that last a lifetime. (To this day, I have many fraternity brothers with whom I have remained connected for over 50 years). As he talked, I began to relate his comments to church membership. The presenter reminded us that most did not join or stay in the fraternity because of all good stuff it did, or because it had good events… we joined and stayed because of the quality of relationships that were built. It occurred to me that is what is so evident to me at FPCV, friendships, lifelong and those of shorter duration abound.
I have been a member here only since arriving in Valparaiso in 2013, but from the get-go, it was clear that there were strong relationships throughout the congregation and those relationships were very important to the people involved. I was glad to see that and to be positioned to be a part of a congregation that was ‘connected’ personally.
Church organizations often deal in the abstract, spending lots of time on promoting their theology, their events and offerings rather than on showing a kind of camaraderie and connectedness that most churched and unchurched individuals are really looking for from a church organization.
FPCV is an organization that values relationships… a relationship with God first, then relationships with other people who have known each other for years, who like to be involved in the many efforts and missions FPCV engages in, relationships between people who engage with each other outside the church organization. That is why FPCV is special to me. I value all the relationships I have been privileged to develop here. Thank you all for being welcoming and inviting to Sharon and me. I hope I am returning that sense to others, both those who have been members for years and new people visiting FPCV.
Blessings to all,