The Loneliness Project
By Renee Kauffman | December 26, 2019
Have you ever sat at a dinner table with a handful of people you just met, and answered the question, “When was a time in your life you felt lonely?” It’s not exactly your typical Tuesday night adventure, but I’m happy to say it was one of mine not long ago. There were nine of us at the table and after some small talk and good food, it wasn’t long before we were talking about how prevalent loneliness is in the world, and what, if anything, could be done about it. It may seem like an extreme topic choice for a group of strangers, but this night was wrapped in intentionality and purpose. One of Fullerton Free’s new visions for the church is prophetic engagement rooted in demonstrable faith, which is summed up by engaging in people’s lives so we can be honest and declare truth. So that’s exactly what we set out to do. We talked about it, we thought through some tough questions, and we each took a turn giving suggestions on what we might be able to do to combat loneliness. And at the end of the night, we decided we would keep talking about it and keep thinking about it because if we are to truly make an impact, it can’t just stop with dessert. This idea of The Loneliness Project could use a hundred more dinner tables and creative thinkers, dreaming out loud and drumming up thoughts on how we, as a church and as individuals, can make a difference when it comes to reaching out to those who are lonely. As someone who just moved here a few months ago and doesn’t know very many people, I have experienced some loneliness on a personal level and this type of conversation has filled me with hope and encouragement. I hope, if you ever get the chance, you will join in on the conversation too.