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We would like to welcome you to First Friends Church. Whether you are a member, in town for a visit or are looking for a church home, we hope you will feel you are an important part of our worship experience.


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The Longing to Belong

The longing to belong is something that everyone desires. To belong to something or someone is the craving of the human heart. If you doubt this look around. You will notice clubs, bars, lodges, teams, churches, social media clubs, and on and on. Even if we are not “joiners,” we still want to belong. 

Longing to belong is part of our human makeup. It is good to belong. Remember the old TV series “Cheers?” The Cheers theme song was, “Where everybody knows your name.” The scene opened often with a character named Norm showing up followed by everybody shouting, “Norm!” Although Cheers was set in a bar, this kind of thing is a powerful draw—to be recognized, known, and loved. People join the Elks, Moose, Eagles, and Sertoma, and even churches because there are people there with common interests. They belong! Some have rituals and programs to initiate new members. Regardless, belonging is the draw. 

No one wants to be left out, unpicked, ostracized, excommunicated, ignored, etc. Remember that playground ritual where everyone would line up to be picked for a ball game? As the line got smaller, you held your breath and your pulse quickened as you feared you might be left out or the last one chosen. We want to be chosen, we want to hear our name called, and we want to belong. 

 I am not talking about everyone being a part of the “family of man” or “we’re all God’s children.” Matthew 10:29-31 relates, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” This is wonderful and satisfying, but God has more for each of us than knowing about our hairs or even that He knows our name. Imagine hearing God call your name and invite you to belong to His kingdom, His family. 

God the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are relational beings. God wants to relate to you as well and He desires for you to relate to Him. “For God SO loved ______” (fill in your name). God loves me. Jesus was born, lived, and died for you–even if you were the only person needing to be saved. He loves you! You belong to Jesus! Hear Him call your name—you belong!

–Merle Clowe, Pastoral Team (Education)


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