Your “first place” is your home. Your “second place” is your work. Sociologists are noting the resurgence of what they are calling “third places” where people can hang out, socialize, where everybody knows your name, etc. These are neighborhood diners, bars, and (increasingly) coffee houses. This is a healthy development, say in the sociologists, in our society of alienation, rootlessness, and so on. See Satisfying a Craving For Someplace Familiar – washingtonpost.com.
This is indeed good to return to, working against that opposite trend of bowling alone. In the past, though, people tended to belong to lots of groups, but this is a start. (Small town Americans might be amused that this is a new trend, since we have been hanging out at such places all our lives. It must be due to our bitterness.)
So, do you have a “third place”? What lifts it above the merely functional, the place to get something to eat or to grab a cup of coffee?
Does the church function as a “third place”? Could it? Should it?