A First Church visitor walked into a church for the first time in her life last Sunday all by herself, while a long-term member in her late 60s is facilitating a small group for the first time in hers. An active participant in a group during COVID shared that the experience led her to trying new activities, in church and beyond, she hadn’t had the confidence to try before. 

Worship Associates’ sharing stories, members initiating conversations about Stewardship, Pastoral Care Associates reaching out to folks during very challenging times in their lives, even an introvert turning to new person to engage in conversation, is practicing social courage. 

And while one’s personality may seem to make this courage more accessible to some, even extroverts can find challenges at First Church! Culturally-taboo subjects (e.g., money!), attempting to connect across differences, sharing vulnerability, all risk bumping smack into one of humankinds’ biggest fears – rejection. Social courage is more muscle than talent – and at First Church we have multiple opportunities to strengthen it at every level. 

Which is good, because social courage is a necessary muscle for the Authentic Connection we so value here – we have voted to strive to get better at it, as a community. 

It is also the muscle that helps us to stand-up for all our other values, whether they are popular in the larger community around us. 

Lynne Jacoby
Membership Development Coordinator 

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