We had St. Andrew’s second Holy Happy Hour last night at Charlie Hooper’s – another great turnout (40 or so), with wonderful conversations all around the room.
As I’ve said before, part of the point of Holy Happy Hour is evangelistic. If we, as an incarnation of “church,” get out into the world having a good time, then the world might see that “church” is more than the self-righteous, judgmental, boring people we’re often presumed to be. Last night, there were signs posted on the wall marking the gathering as “St. Andrew’s Church.” For some, maybe that’s scandalous – “Church people shouldn’t be doing things like that.” But for the other folks there at Charlie Hooper’s, seeing church people gathering for happy hour might make them rethink their presumptions about what those Christians are like. Actually, I rather like the notion that “St. Andrew’s Church” isn’t just the beautiful building up the street but is the body of Christ in the world. After all, Jesus certainly spent his fair share of time in places like Charlie Hooper’s.
Of course, there’s also an internal “good” to these gatherings. As someone pointed out last night, “It doesn’t bother me that we’re getting together for happy hour. Hey, if we get together to do this tonight, we’ll be more likely to get together tomorrow for worship, or education, or outreach work, or whatever.”
She was right. Building community is huge for the congregation’s health. And a little fun never hurts, either – even among church people.