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The Spiritual Practice of Community

We were created to live and grow in community with others. Many stories in the Bible share the importance of community. A great example of this is when Jesus created a very special community- the disciples; Peter, James, John, Andrew, Bartholomew, James(the younger), Judas, Jude(Thaddeus), Matthew, and Thomas. After the death of Jesus these disciples went on to create new and different communities of their own.

The author Henry Nouwen says that “community is first of all a quality of the heart. It is the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves but for one another.” Do you agree with him? How would you describe community?

Being a part of a community requires us to take an active role in the community. We can do this by learning from each other, listening with an open heart and mind, and sharing our stories and experiences. At first glance these seem easy, but in reality, it can be difficult.

This Lent, we invite you to try the spiritual practice of being in community. To take an active role in connecting with others. Here are some suggestions:

· Think about a specific person and lift them up in prayer.

· Contact someone that you have lost touch with.

· Look for opportunities to meet new people.

· Smile at those who cross your path.

· Send a simple card or email to a friend or family member.

· Take the time to ask people to share their stories.

If there is something that we can learn from the challenges that we have recently faced it is the importance of meaningful personal relationships, reaching out to others, and community. This Lent embrace the spiritual knowledge that we are alive for one another and take time each day to grow in your connections with others.

We would love to hear what you are doing to grow in your connections with others!

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