You've Got a Friend

By Janet Earle, Children's Minister

Posted on July 13, 2017

Carole King’s album Tapestry came out just before I got to High School. One of the best-selling records of all time, it was one of my very first albums. I listened to it over and over. I can still sing the words to every song. It’s funny how the things that get into your head when you are young seem to stay there forever.

You’ve Got A Friend, was one of the many hit songs on that album. Its lyrics speak of a friend who is present and ready to help in the most difficult times, and faithful through all seasons. Don’t we all long for that kind of support in our lives?

I have been reflecting lately on what it means to be a ‘church’. For ages the word church was usually taken to mean a building. In our case, the beautiful large stone structure that is St. Paul’s. These days, churches are sold to become so many different things - condominium towers, daycare centres, and even residential homes. The church of course, is more than simply a building.

More recently, we have used the word ‘community’ to describe our church. We seek to be a group of people exploring faith in Jesus together, supporting one another. The word community reflects the dynamic relationships between people, and the multitude of connections that exist.

At St. Paul’s there are always many people coming and going. Sometimes it seems an overwhelming task to remember the names of everyone we meet. This is not unusual in large urban churches. But we long to form meaningful connections with our community, and encourage relationships between people.

I would like to consider another word for church: 'friends'. I want to encourage us to be a community of friends. Of course, it is an inadequate word. But it does express some of the hope of what our relationship could be. A friendship contains a bond of mutual care and affection, and an attachment.

Why would we want to be friends? Our desire for friendship is based on our relationship with Jesus. He is the one who calls us to ‘love others’ and the one who shows us how to love.

How can we seek to live as friends? Let others know how you are doing. Are you moving? Do you have a new job? Is someone in your family struggling? Join us for prayer in St. Paul's Chapel after our worship services. Become part of a small group. Enjoy a cup of coffee and share a little of your life with someone. Connection cards are a great way to let us know ‘that you need a helping hand…’. Fill one out and drop it off at St. Paul's Central.

Think of St. Paul’s less as a building and more as a community of friends. We would love the opportunity to encourage you in your faith, and to support you in seasons of challenge. Even though we know that we may let you down at times, we can point you toward a friendship with Jesus, who won’t.

If you want to deepen your friendship – connect in person, through email or through a connection card. If you want to find out more about our friend Jesus, check out our Alpha program starting September 20.