On loneliness

From the Heart

Are you lonely?

I know — this might seem like the opening line for a dating service ad. But no, this is a serious question about our spiritual and religious health.

If I feel off-balance because I have not had enough social contact, I am lonely. Being lonely can put any us out of sorts just as much as being hungry or thirsty or tired. And prolonged loneliness makes it much more difficult to work towards spiritual balance — or any kind of balance in our lives.

In his ground-breaking book, Loneliness, Dr. John Cacioppo documents this human need for social connection.

In these pandemic days — when we are being so careful about our social contacts —we risk sliding into loneliness even more than usual. Our shared congregational life can be part of the solution to feeling cut off from others. And this shared life can also be the ground where we cultivate spiritual awareness and growth.

There is lots more detail on different kinds of loneliness, which I will talk about in the September 13 service.

That’s for later. For now, if you are feeling cut off from others in general, or from our congregational life in particular, please contact me. We can talk about it. We have different ways of staying connected in our congregation, including our small group ministry program.

I am not the expert on loneliness, but I can be a place for you to start.

Love to all,
Rev. George Buchanan