Saturday, March 24, 2012


“There are only two places to make friends in this community,” a new resident said to me. This observation emphasizes how few options there are to make connections with new friends. It rarely happens in the neighborhood. It even rarely happens at our place of work – acquaintances, yes, but good friends, seldom.
     When families stay in the same general geographical area, they sometimes remain our primary best friends, but that is not guaranteed. How often do we choose our family with whom to spend an evening out, like a dinner, or a show, or concert or sports event?
     Friendship online has become a popular substitute for face - to - face interaction. Groups with common interests online, let’s face it, do meet a need. How many couples have you met who are now married, and some happily, through internet connections, not necessarily through single’s groups?
     One of the two places mentioned in the first sentence, was the local pub. Those who frequent pubs, often go for social reasons, and plan to engage in conversation in an unhurried manner while they are there. And if a pattern is set with two, three or more visits a week, repeat connections at the bar can lead to friendships. We will not take time to analyze, here, the risk in finding healthy friendships in a pub. But it provides a ripe atmosphere to make friends.
     The other of the two places mentioned was a local church. I was reminded about that this week when my wife, Anne, and I had opportunity for first-time visits with two different sets of people at two different places, all of which attend our church. We came away from each, amazed at how easily we connected. We could have three sets of new  friends right there.  The neat thing about coming to a new church these days is that almost all have small groups that meet weekly. That setting provides an ideal place to check out individuals with whom you think you might like to establish a long-term, meaningful relationship. And church offers you more than a social outlet. The risk level of being drawn into a negative pattern, is very low and, what is more, there you will find nurture for your soul.


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