Community: I Need It and It Needs Me

Friday, January 17

1-17By John Bonney of Springfield, Oregon, USA

Be patient with one another, for creating sacred community is arduous and even painful. But it is to loving community such as this that each is called. Be courageous and visionary, believing in the power of just a few vibrant witnesses to transform the world…

—Doctrine and Covenants 161:3c

Even in the smallest congregations of Community of Christ, I have found a kernel of mission—Christ’s mission.

I have been with Community of Christ for more than 50 years. The several congregations I belonged to over the years had their ups and downs, and I had mine. But I always felt accepted and a part of the church. The community allowed me to be who I was. It encouraged and supported me in my humanness; and sometimes I even believed I was contributing something worthwhile.

People may not always have agreed with what I said, but they did not stop me from saying it. I remember a few years ago, when I was in a vocally robust stage, one of our dear, elderly women said after my sermon, “Oh John, I can always hear everything you say. And sometimes I even agree with you!” I had to laugh.

Here, in this faith community, I have a place. I am able to speak, teach, counsel, guide, and, of course, learn.  I have a venue for expression.  For my personal and corporate worship, I am delighted when I hear well thought-out scripture reflection from the pulpit. I am uplifted when I feel the Spirit in worship. That it does not happen every time, doesn’t bother me. I see people trying, as they are clothed in the love born from their sharing. How can I not love them and accept their offering?

I am there with our people as much as possible simply because they need me, and I need them. We come together for companionship, love, and to gather strength for the mission. I praise God for my faith community.

Prayer for Peace
Loving God, gather us in to worship and to center in you. Send us out strengthened to do Christ’s mission and share his peace.

Spiritual Practice: Offering Blessings of Community
Receive and share Blessings of Community. Begin with a prayer of gratitude for the relationships in your life. See and feel connections with family members, spiritual friends, people in your congregation and community, and people and creatures in God’s sacred web of life. What blessings flow to you from these circles? How have you felt the love of the community?

Reflect, pray, or write in your journal about the call to be “Community of Christ.” Go deeper each day as you discern what act of blessing you are invited to complete.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will be open to your invitation to respond and be a blessing.

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4 Comments

  1. Brenda Mitchell

     /  18 January 2014

    I couldn’t agree more. I have felt so loved and accepted in the many congregations in the USA and W. Europe, where I’ve worshipped. I felt like I was home in all of them. What a great family we belong to!

  2. This is just how I feel, too. An excellent comment.

  3. Nolan White

     /  17 January 2014

    Wasn’t this posting also in the 2013 Daily Bread? Everything about it seems familiar. Nolan White

    endywhite@tampabay.rr.com

  4. Diane Akers

     /  17 January 2014

    Well thought out words I can totally agree with, have also been a member all 74 years and feel so accepted in any Congregation I’ve been in or visited!

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