I attended a church committee meeting last month and had the distinct privilege of introducing some of the committee members to each other. I’ve been here for a little more than one year. They have been here much longer.

First Baptist is a big place. We routinely navigate 264,000 square feet of buildings, a calendar full of programs and a membership list that is impossible to memorize. Any given Sunday we nod at a number of people we do not know. At times, the anonymity is a relief. At other times, we wish we felt a little more community.

On the weekend of March 4-6, 2016, I’m inviting our entire congregation to go on retreat together. We’ve reserved space at the YMCA’s Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina. I’d like everyone to attend – from our eldest senior adult to our newest newborn. We have insured that there is accessible lodging and activities for all age groups. I will be co-leading the retreat sessions with Rev. Mary Carol Anderson – our minister of youth and recreation. We will be exploring texts in the Gospel of Luke around the theme The Broken Road. Being a follower of Christ – or being the Church of Christ – does not mean that life’s road will be smoothly paved and easy. It does mean, however, that our broken roads will lead us to grace and life. You will be able to register online in early September. For those unable to attend, there will be a service in the chapel, Sunday morning, March 6.

This weekend event will be a wonderful time for us to relax, study, play, pray and get to know one another. And when the weekend is over, we’ll be able to pass each other in the church hallways and share a little more than a nod.

— Jim