Back when the film Gone in 60 Seconds came out (the one from 2000, not the one from 1974), Beth and I had the opportunity to go to the film’s “red-carpet” premiere. It was a good time, it was completely packed…

And I met both Michael Clark Duncan and Ben Affleck. In the bathroom.

When I worked at Six Flags Magic Mountain, part of my job as an “Operations Supervisor” was to walk VIPs around the park, especially for those who could gather a crowd. A notable experience was when I was chosen to spend the day with professional wrestler Hulk Hogan. Hogan (who insisted I call him “Terry”) was there to celebrate his son’s birthday, and along for the experience was Hogan’s mother. She had baby pictures of “The Hulkster” (she didn’t call him that, but many do). I’ve seen baby pictures of Hulk Hogan!

In the early 1980s, my dad worked on a segment of a film I knew very little about. One day he took me out to the set and introduced me to the director and an associate producer named Kathleen. And she had worked as an assistant to the same director in Raiders of the Lost Ark! And that was with Harrison Ford!! And Harrison Ford is-was-and-always-will-be Han Solo of STAR WARS!!!

I practically shook Han Solo’s hand myself. For real.

(Note: I met Kathleen Kennedy on a set in Piru, CA while filming a segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie. The segment was directed by Stephen Spielberg. I didn’t actually meet Harrison Ford. Bummer.)

We humans seem to love the idea of connection. If we can connect ourselves to someone famous, we talk about it. If we can connect ourselves to someone of power, we talk about it. Sometimes we even boast about our connections with those who are more infamous than famous.

We all celebrate our “six degrees of whatever-famous-person-is-IN-today.” I myself met Andrew Cassese (who played “Wormser”) during the filming of Revenge of the Nerds. In the film, Andrew shared screen time with John Goodman, who was in Death Sentence with Kevin Bacon.

In our United Methodist tradition, connexion (as John Wesley spelled it) is critical. We are all in this world together. We are all created in the image of God. We are all sojourners, briefly part of this world and this consciousness until we move into life eternal. While we do not have iden- tical experiences in life, we all experience joy and pain and tragedy and elation and grief and hope.

And I believe that these experiences are best when shared with others. I believe that when we are in the celebratory places in life, we celebrate more fully when we share with others. And I believe that when we are in the dark places in our lives, these moments are more bearable in the healing presence of others.

Our connexion is a deep part of our faith. Worship in com- munity touches us more fully than when we try by ourselves. Study and learning can be even more profound when we do so with others. And service to our community and our God affects us even more deeply when we can share the experience with those dear to us.

We are continuing on our Stewardship journey this month, and I submit to you that our deep connexion with one another and with the national and global Church makes us more than we can possibly be on our own. When we join together with our United Methodist sisters and brothers, with our Christian sisters and brothers, with all who are a part of creation, we come together with a strength and presence and power that may remind us of the transforming power of God.

This is not to say that our connexion gives us permission to back away from the stewardship of our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness. Indeed, I believe that just the opposite is the case. Our connexion calls us into deeper community with one another, so that together our prayers and presence and gifts and service and witness have all-the-more power. Let us join together in our stewardship of Pacific Beach UMC and the community of Pacific Beach here in San Diego as we seek to support and participate in God’s transforming work.


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