The Congregation at Duke University Chapel


photo of Carol

Last year, Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy declared that the U.S. is suffering from an epidemic of loneliness. He claims this is a significant health issue as loneliness is associated with greater risk of heart disease, depression, anxiety and dementia. While not everyone agrees with his rallying cry, even those who claim that reported levels of loneliness have remained constant for decades, they also acknowledged that millions of people suffer from social disconnection.

For over 2,000 years now, the Church has tried to be a community, a Christian community. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are part of his body, bound to one another in profound ways. While this spiritual reality is begun with our baptisms, we don’t always, or perhaps often, live out this Christian community in its deepest and richest forms. Loneliness is inside the walls of the church as well as outside.

Building off of the Chapel’s summer preaching series on Deuteronomy, our Education Committee has named “Covenant Community” as our educational theme for the year. Through retreats, such as Dr. Davis’ retreat at the end of the month, book groups, and our on-going classes, the Education Committee invites us to reflect on this topic. Through our fellowship and mission ministries, we have opportunities to be together. As we start our fall schedule this Sunday, I invite you to be regularly and actively involved in the life of the Congregation. Do so to counter your own loneliness and improve your health. Do so because the person next to you may be feeling isolated. Do so because we are one body, the Body of Christ.

May the peace of Christ be with you.