Matt and I are ever so grateful to have found the community of gardeners that we have found there. The main leader of the group always stresses that point. That we are a community of gardeners, not just a community garden. (Bold characters are my addition.) I like that sentiment. A sense of community, of belonging, is so often lacking these days, I've found. I've learned so much from these people about gardening, cleaning, chickens, Iowa, cooking, moon signs, and so on. I've shared many laughs and even a few sorrows with them. We've worked together for a common good. I expected to love the gardening aspect. I didn't expect to love the community. In fact, despite the name, I don't think I expected much of a community at all.
To help foster the community feeling we all participate in raising crops on the common ground to donate to the need in our area (over 3,000 pounds this year). We also have group work days and harvest days. And just as important, we also have community celebrations such as the Summer Picnic and Harvest Dinner. Everyone brings a favorite dish to share. The church that hosts the garden provides cutlery and tables and usually the main protein piece of the meal (burgers at the picnic, ham at the Harvest Dinner). And everyone visits and eats and gets to know each other. It is absolutely wonderful.
She was writing about her GARDENING experiences. I was thinking of my yearnings for such a community of FAITH. A place described by some of the phrases I lifted straight from this post!
- A leader who stresses the importance of "community"
- Gratefulness for FINDING such a community
- Belonging IS so often lacking these days
- Learned so much from these people
- Shared laughs and sorrows
- Worked together for a common good
- (Sometimes) we don't "expect" much of a community
- Activities to foster community
- Joint participation in serving the needy
- Community celebrations
- Work days
- EVERYONE visits and eats and gets to know each other
- It is "absolutely wonderful"!
I'm thankful for the measure of "community" that I'm finding in our small church.
But I'm not satisfied!
There is progress to be made.
Community is SO much more than "attendance".
I pray for that. I LONG for that...
To be a community of Christians (Christ-followers)
not just a Christian community.
"All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God's grace was so powerfully at work in them that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need." (Acts 4:32-35)