Brooke’s Generosity Blog
March 15, 2020
“Feeling lonely? You’re not alone – and it could be affecting your physical health.” This was the title of a 2019 feature on CBC. It was in response to recent numbers by Statistics Canada showing that more and more Canadians are living alone. Nearly 30% now live alone.
Loneliness is a global problem. In the U.K. the situation has become so pressing the government appointed a ‘loneliness minister’ to address the issue. In Canada, studies found that one in five Canadians identify as being lonely.
Loneliness is found in every demographic. The most connected generation of all, Gen ‘Z’, reports the highest level of loneliness with 48.3% of Gen ‘Z’ persons reporting feeling lonely every week.
Although 25% of seniors live alone, those who are over 75 years of age report feeling the least lonely of all generations.
“Research has found that loneliness has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even more dangerous than obesity.” – Douglas Nemecek, MD, at Cigna.com
“If I was to talk about grief, people would nod and understand and sympathize, but loneliness is just this horrible word still.” – Marci O’Connor in the 2019 CBC National feature documentary on Loneliness
What is this all about? We are good people. We stay active and we try and make the world a better place. How can we be isolated and alone?
We, as a society, are experiencing a lack of connection.
As Christians we value community. We sing together, we laugh together, we share communion together. Yet we can feel lonely at the same time. Being with people does not fix our feelings of being isolated or remote from others. We need connections that are significant and meaningful.
Our church has many programs, activities and opportunities for meaningful connection. We have a responsive staff who listen and design new groups in response to need. Most of the connecting in the church is not listed in the bulletin or in the annual report. It is found in the relationships between people that nurture us in deeply meaningful ways.
I participate at LOGOS as an adult volunteer. I am on the debris team. We take dirty dishes, cutlery, pots, pans, serving platters and with diligence (Region of Waterloo approved commercial kitchen) make them clean and put them away. This is fun. Not because of the inherent joy of washing dishes, but because of the relationships with those who work together to make this happen each week. (We wear hair nets that make us look charming!)
As followers of Jesus, we want to make connections. Loneliness is not a sin; it is a reminder to us that we need and must have connections with other people. We need to be loved and cared for. This is our gift from Jesus who gave so much. With generosity. With love. Church matters.