Sunday, June 11, 2006

Community....

I have been thinking about community, and was planning on blogging about it today. It's Sunday morning, and we've traded "church" long ago for something else. It may be breakfast with friends, lately it's been the dog park with some regulars. We grabbed a cuppa and took my brother to watch his dogniece play with her dogbuds. Brother is disabled with cerebellar atrophy and has ataxia problems. Dogs just migrate to him, and they are very gentle....even Gracie stays low so as not to knock him over. They just have a sense about him. Wouldn't that be nice if humans did? I think he enjoyed the morning. We did. We enjoy that group of dogs and their humans.

Redefining community.....I believe that this is what is happening with re-emerging Christians today. We're gathering in homes, online, by phone...whatever. In fact, I had left a comment on Judy's (BruceD's wonderful wife) blog. She had an entry there about a gathering. It sounded great. She responded to me with such a sweet email. I'd love to gather with that bunch! I love the bunches that I gather with, too. Such varied groups...some "typical" Christians, mostly "un-typical" Christians, praise God. Sometimes we sing, we eat, we pray, we minister. We laugh. A lot. We let the Spirit lead our discussions. Really good stuff happens. We don't just meet on Sunday, in fact, that's not the usual time we meet.

I think church is okay...it's working for a lot of people. It's just that when one day defines faith, then things go wonky. Faith needs to be played out everyday, with everyday dealings. My challenge to anyone reading this is, regardless of whether you go to church or not, to call, email, or meet with at least 2 different people a day and just ask them how they are. I know a lot of you already do this, but...
How's that problem they were dealing with? How are their kids doing? Grandkids? Parents?
Do this for a week with no other intent than to really check with them for THEIR sake, not yours. Call someone you haven't talked with for a long time. Or, even strike up a conversation with a complete stranger....bet they'll tell you something about themselves.
Then, at the end of the week, see the blessings unfold...for them and for you. Community will take on a whole new meaning. Church will become a fluid entity, flowing sweetly....moving among crowds like He did....with walls tumbling down.

12 comments:

Bar Bar A said...

Karen,

I agree with you. I enjoy the way you articulate your thoughts.

Helen said...

ABSOLOUTELY!! Karen I have been challenged recently about the outward demonstration of community, it's about simple acts of kindness a phone call, a letter a cuppa! my house is not perfect and I'm not a great cook but I like to use what I can do for His Glory, everyone can talk and smile, amazing what difference this can make to someones day, Bless you Karen!

C. Fish said...

The more I read your blog, Karen, the More I LOVE it.

You sound so much like how me and my wife feel...

We find our community everywhere around us.. even camping! We joined a group this weekend that works at preserving our favourite State Park.

Karen said...

I wish we could all get together!

Dave said...

Sometimes on a Sunday I would love to be able to gather with folks from our fellowship so that we could talk - you know, be real with each other and care for each other.

During July & August we do not have an evening service and you have challenged me to make good use of that extra time to get together with folks that I don't see from one Sunday to the next.

Thank you Karen. Praise God.

Kansas Bob said...

It's just that when one day defines faith, then things go wonky.

Well said Karen ... Sundays and church can get wonky when they become the heart of our faith walk.

bjk said...

My challenge to anyone reading this is, regardless of whether you go to church or not, to call, email, or meet with at least 2 different people a day and just ask them how they are. I know a lot of you already do this, but...


wow...really great advice....

BruceD said...

You've got a good head on ya, girlie! I agree too, church is ok for those who need it. I don't mean that in a bad way. I just mean that some folks see it as "better than nothing", and that makes good sense. If they only knew that there's a whole lot of "something" out there if they would just see it. But, we get so comfortable in our make-believe world... it's good enough!

I like to think the community of God is all around us. It starts within us when we realize that He is there. Then it moves out of us into everyone we encounter, and we are blessed to go through life watching Father touch people's hearts all around us. But, we have to want to see it. Otherwise, we might miss so much of what He's doing.

Bruce said...

I think it's interesting that we all need a community of some sort. We will replace one community for another. But the bottom line is: we still need others to help us through this journey.

I love your thought: "I think church is okay...it's working for a lot of people. It's just that when one day defines faith, then things go wonky." What a wonderful use of the word wonky.

B~

Pauly said...

You're always invited to church in our house, Karen - today we all met at the park, had a few songs, blessed the dads, got blessed from a Russian missionary's mom that leaves this week, and then got down to the REAL stuff church is made for - COMMUNITY. We lit the fire, grilled up some burgers, dogs, and sausage - and we just had a good time with each other. Nothing formal, nothing rigid...just each other.
And God was there.

Karen said...

Thanks, Pauly....I'm not that far from your neck o the woods!

Mark D said...

What a great post! I get down on myself when I hit a Sunday morning and think, "Who did I witness to last week?" Maybe a quick word to the drive-though attendant or the gas station clerk. Hmmm. Two. Big whoop. I forget too often that phone calls or emails to friends who are already saved but could use some encouragement are just as valuable. I like what you said about the "everyday" thing. Many people I know put in a couple hours at "church" on Sundays and think that suffices for everything "Christian."