Categories: Wednesday ripples Leave a comment

We are the church together

Facebook has creatively, once again, drawn us into highlighting the importance of community.  You may have seen it already in your Facebook feed (if you are on Facebook). Videos celebrating community under the title of “What We Do Together Matters”.  

Having gone through the pictures we have posted on Facebook, the social media giant has used some kind of algorithm or such to weave together a short video lifting up the value of being with others.  It’s quite lovely looking back at the different pictures, the gatherings of friends and family, reflecting on those moments and on what made them special. Emphasizing the significance of community, Facebook places the following statement across the pictures “Its what we do for each other that makes community matter.” Below the video we are then linked to the groups we are connected to on Facebook, the events that are happening around us, as well as linking us to the opportunity to offer help in our community and around the world.

When I saw these videos popping up on Facebook I got to thinking about our own church, in and of itself a rich source of community.  Communities of faith, churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and more, are places of deep connection, where support and care are offered in tangible and meaningful ways.  Its where folks are called to be apart of a community where faith is lived through action, where there are opportunities to receive and to give and to recognize that we are a part of something larger than ourselves.  Communities are far from perfect or free from conflict but they continue to be a source of encouragement and inspiration . . .

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another (Hebrews 10:24–25).

I wonder what pictures would be chosen to post on St. Andrew’s Wesley “video” illustrating community and how what we do together matters?  If we were to look back to September what pictures come to your mind?

Folks serving lunch to seniors in our community and going the extra step in making food parcels to send home with them.

Grandma Margaret welcoming children and their parents (and their caregivers) with love and hugs to Parent and Tot

Walking for Reconciliation in September

The laughter and sharing at our annual Children and Senior’s Tea in October

A large group of folks out for an event with Johann Hari (award-winning journalist) sharing his research on rethinking the way we should look at addiction and the War on Drugs.

Word is Out group retreating in Manning Park

Celebrating as a congregation the Historic Apology by the Government of Canada to LGBTQ community on November 28

Walking with others on the Coldest Night of the Year Walk raising awareness for people who are hungry and homeless.

Children and Adults washing one another’s feet and hands on Maundy Thursday

Caring conversations at our Men’s Breakfast Gathering

Gathering for a Campfire in the sanctuary and singing and dancing together

Watching the junior youth of our church weed our garden and have fun with the hose as they watered.

Our Refugee Team meeting and working together to support those who have fled their countries

People gathering monthly, sitting in a circle, holding people in prayer

Our Healing Touch offering treatment to an individual with gentleness and prayer

Youth meeting their Companions on their Confirmation Journey sharing their stories and their questions of faith

An individual in deep pain entering the church and being received with radical hospitality, the deep compassion allowing them to simply be.

And so many more . . . . what are the pictures that come to your mind?  Share them below!

Beginning in the new year we will be on a pilgrimage (being out of the sanctuary for a year and a half during the restoration), during that time we will need to lean into the community that we have created and are creating, celebrating the value of who we are together and honouring that what we do together matters.  It reminds me of a song some of us sang in Sunday School by Richard Avery and Donald Marsh. The lyrics as simple as they are, demonstrate the worth of Christian community.

Refrain:
I am the church! You are the church!
We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus,
all around the world!
Yes, we’re the church together!

1. The church is not a building;
the church is not a steeple;
the church is not a resting place;
the church is a people.

(Refrain)

2. We’re many kinds of people,
with many kinds of faces,
all colours and all ages, too
from all times and places.

(Refrain)

3. Sometimes the church is marching;
sometimes it’s bravely burning,
sometimes it’s riding, sometimes hiding;
always it’s learning.

(Refrain)

4. And when the people gather,
there’s singing and there’s praying;
there’s laughing and there’s crying sometimes,
all of it saying:

(Refrain)

5. At Pentecost some people
received the Holy Spirit
and told the Good News through the world
to all who would hear it.

I am the church! You are the church!
We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus,
all around the world!
Yes, we’re the church together!

Giving thanks for the community we share and we build together,

Jen

 

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