The following is Rev. Sharon Wylie’s homily for the “Chalice Soup and Founders Say” service on November 19, 2023. You can watch the full service on Chalice’s YouTube channel.
Earlier this year, in the spring, the surgeon general declared that there’s an epidemic of loneliness, a public health crisis. Just this week, the World Health Organization has announced the formation of a commission on social connection. We know that isolation and disconnection has big impacts on our health and well-being. And all of this was coming even before the pandemic, and the pandemic did not help at all.
Community, friendship, connection…these aren’t just luxuries, niceties if you happen to have them. These are necessities, things we need for healthy living.
Anthropologist Margaret Mead is said to have said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
The story we just heard is a story about what can happen when people come together. Chalice is a story of what can happen when people come together. Every day at Chalice is a story of what can happen when people come together. Sometimes it’s a finance committee meeting or board meeting. This morning we’re making soup together, and waiting to see what happens with the weather….we have folks in the kitchen already making soup with ingredients we brought, so many that they can’t use them all, and there’s also bread and there’s also cake and more food than we’re going to be able to eat this morning.
So I think that we’re the lucky ones. Being at Chalice doesn’t guarantee that you feel connected and like you have friends; we know we have congregants who are struggling. But we do have each other, and that’s a great start.