Sociologist Ray Oldenburg suggests in his book, Celebrating the Third Place, that casual relationships are vital to nurturing family and work relationships. He states that the First Place is home. Second Place is the workplace. Third Place is where casual relationships occur. This can happen in a coffee shop, on the soccer field, at the gym, in line at the grocery store, and at church. The concept of Third Place is anywhere people hang out, meet new friends, and catch up with old friends.
The Latin word trivium refers to the intersection of three roads – a place where people on a journey would stop to socialize and talk about everyday things. It’s where we get the words trivia and trivial. Small talk. But small talk is not unimportant talk it is an essential part of community. (Kevin G. Ford. Transforming Church: Bringing Out the Good to Get to Great)
Churches are great places for a Third Place meeting. The coffee/fellowship time after worship is more than just getting a sweet treat or another cup of coffee. It’s an opportunity to meet someone new and catch up with old friends. In a transient place like San Francisco, those connections are important and are food for the soul in allowing us to nurture healthy relationships with our friends, family, co-workers, and God.
Casual conversation is not easy for everyone though. So, throughout the month of September and October, you will have an opportunity to hear from some of our St. John’s community as they share their faith story and passions. My hope is that this will be an opportunity for us to get to know each other better and also connect with our own faith story and passions.
Sep 20 – John Templeton
Sep 27 – Kelly Jane Rosenblatt
Oct 4 – Lukas Bacho and Dominic Bazinet
Oct 11 – Samantha Lewins
Oct 18 – TBA