My copy of the Oxford English Dictionary (which I value a great deal) says that the word connectivity has been in use since at least 1893, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t known about it for much more than a decade. It was originally applied in physics. My only practical understanding of the term is that it means I can get online. I’m sure the concept is more complicated than that, but it works for me.

Quite often concepts in physics have an equivalent in human relationships (opposites attract, for example) and that is true with connectivity. For some things to happen between and among people we must have connectivity. Maybe you’ve heard someone remark, “I just couldn’t connect with what he was saying.”

If the body of Christ on earth is to function as God intended we must have connectivity. We must certainly be connected in a spiritual way with God, but we must also be connected to each other. Energy is transferred through our connections.

Connection with God is attained through prayer, worship, Scripture reading, and service. Connection with each other is most powerful when we are physically present in each other’s company.

Most of the time that presence together is the type of connectivity that I would most encourage. I don’t urge you to come to church just so we can say we had a crowd. I do it because we need to be together.

In some cases, however, that strong connectivity isn’t possible. Often, either for good reasons or just personal choice, you are out of town or otherwise engaged. The reason uppermost in my mind right now is that you might choose to stay away because you are sick, could make others sick, or you don’t want to get sick. As you know, this is turning out to be a very dangerous influenza season and, as I said last Sunday, if you think you might be sick or if you are particularly vulnerable, the prudent and considerate thing to do would be to stay away.

Fortunately, when you can’t be with us, there are other ways to stay connected. The two weekly emails and the monthly newsletter let you know what is going on. Although those are intended primarily to remind you of events you can attend, you can pray for them even if you can’t be there.

If you want to listen to the sermon for the week you missed, it is available by Monday afternoon. Granted, you won’t get my facial expressions, but that may be just as well. The choir seems to do just fine without them.

If you are sick and you need prayer, some other ministry, or if you just want us to know, call your deacon. She or he will be glad to do whatever they can to help you stay connected.

And I would be remiss if I did not remind you that part of your connection is your financial support of the ministries of the church. Many of you forego putting your offering in the plate each week in favor of electronic giving already. If that isn’t your practice, try giving online when you’re out, mail your contribution, or remember to bring it next time you’re at church. You might be surprised how much more connected you feel when you know you are doing your part financially.

Obviously, I want to see you at church as often as possible, but sometimes you just can’t be there. On those (hopefully rare) occasions, I hope you’ll stay connected.