There are moments when this world feels hopeless. With each horrific headline, with every juvenile expression of political factionalism, it can feel like the division in our world is inevitable. Then comes a moment like last night.
We may not have set the world record for the longest hug relay, but despite the rain, despite the division, despite the inertia of isolation, we brought hundreds of people together to share a moment of genuine connection. I will never forget the laughter, the visceral sense of fun, or the authentic affection people shared with each hug. The gospel of Jesus Christ is grounded in the promise that when we love our neighbor as ourselves we find life-not at death, but right now. Last night, one hug at a time, we preached that sermon to this entire community.
These events can seem rather silly at first glance, but we live in a world with people dying for human connection. The good news is that we have it to offer and last night we did. We gave hundreds of people in this community (over 600 at last count) a story to tell and a chance to rehearse a better way of life. Some may never darken our doors on a Sunday morning and some might. Either way, we gave people a glimpse of what true community looks like. In short, we reminded people that there is always hope.
Thank you to all of the participants, the volunteers, the staff, the planning team, and sponsors who helped make this world better last night, one hug at a time.