By Rev. Catherine Stark-Corn, Interim Minister to Children and Families
Sitting in the reception hall for a friend’s wedding – the music plays an engaging melody while the newly married couple takes to the dance floor. Twinkling soft lights give off a fuzzy glow that makes the space a bit magical, long tables are graced with elegant flower arrangements that add color and beauty. And swept up in all the celebrating is an unusual grouping of people who if we were to read about them in short written bios would leave you wondering how in the world they came to be in this place together. A man who could be labeled homophobic – dances with his granddaughter’s wife; a woman who has rarely traveled outside the county lines talking with an exchange student from the middle east; people from large cities being hosted by small town farmers – all these people linked in one way or another to the bride and groom found meaningful connections in this moment.
At this time in our world, groupings like the recent wedding I attended seem a rarity…and yet they may be the salvation of our communities. I have been wanting something big to happen: an opportunity that would heal the deep wounds our country seems to be inflicting on one other; a shared experience through which a path forward emerges taking us arm in arm into a renewed future; a miraculous event that pushes back our differences to make room for our commonalities. But this wedding has made me rethink this need for a BIG something. Witnessing all those simple connecting points in that celebration demonstrates we may just need to be together, to be reminded how connected we are and how those connections bind us to something much bigger.
Author Brene Brown frames this connection saying, “Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion.”
Our connections to one another through the grace filled Spirit that lives within all of us can still be found in the most unlikely places. Who knew along with the vows, the toasts, the dancing – the mismatched group of wedding goers were practicing a type of spirituality deeply needed in this broken world.