Last night was beautiful. So many people came to our early dinner at Cafe Centro, located in our own neighborhood of Northwood. It was wonderful to watch long-time members catching up with old friends but, more importantly, it was nice to see so many new members getting to know new friends. : )
Becoming part of a spiritual community is difficult, particularly in today's busy times. Often, when asked why people join a synagogue, they will say it is to make new friends, but integration can be challenging. People unintentionally form cliques because we are comfortable with people we already know -- and because we share a history with them. When we are already so busy trying to keep up with the friends we have, it is difficult to justify lunch, or even coffee, with someone we just met, especially when every hour is precious.
But what might we missing out on? An hour to welcome someone to the community might be the hour they needed to feel connected, and it might be the gift of a new friend we give to ourelves. So, as we have many people joining our community recently, this might be the time to reach out and set up a time to meet away from the synagogue, outside of our comfort zones. In this season of renewal, perhaps it might be a time to connect to someone new. : )