Yesterday, while I was waiting for my boys at little league practice I started talking with a few of the other parents. We happen to be on the Rosemont Market team and interestingly enough, many of us live in the Rosemont Neighborhood and one of the parents works for Rosement. After reflecting on that conversation, I realized something. OK, I realize this is not rocket science, but it still seemed important to me. I realized that the reasons people gave for liking Rosemont Market were about much more than the food (although, their excellent selection does not hurt). I realized that part of what makes Rosemont such an important place for so many people is the ability for customers to connect to the market. One mother I was speaking with talked about how her husband knew the butcher and the owner of the market personally. This connection did not exist for any other reason than he was a customer of the market, but it was obviously a very important connection nonetheless.
Personally, I realized that I also think of connections and relationships when I think of Rosemont. My family just moved into the Rosemont neighborhood in the last month and just by coincidence I have worked next to the Yarmouth Rosemont for the last 2 years. When I went into the Rosemont near our new home, I found myself wishing that I would encounter the familiar faces from the Yarmouth Rosemont. I didn’t expect or long to see familiar faces when I went into the Shaw’s or Hannaford’s in Portland – but I really wanted to make those connections at Rosemont.
I happen to be a church pastor, so I tend to think about these types of things in terms of the institutional church. And this experience has made me wonder why so many churches see success as being growing membership with more and more programs. Yes, I understand that this helps the bottom line, but I’m not sure it really spreads the good news of Jesus. I think the good news of Jesus is that he connected with people.
Thank God for places like Rosemont Market, may they remind us of the importance of local connection and inspire us to get to know the people we interact with everyday. Amen.