Today was my turn and I wrote about community and the RGBP got a mention so I thought I would put the article on my blog as today's entry.
What makes a community?
So often today we hear that there isn’t the same sense of community as there was when we were growing up. There are older people dying in their homes without anyone noticing for months, we have neighbours we have never spoken to, let alone asked for a cup of sugar. Isolation is an increasing social concern for people from all walks of life, immigrants, young parents, older people, people new to an area who have moved away from support etc.
What is it about society today that is making this an increasing concern? Is it the business of our lives, a lack of trust of others, feeling unsafe or feeling like no one else understands? There are so many reasons we feel isolated but there are ways to start to overcome this isolation and begin to bring a sense of community back to our suburbs, our community.
Often community starts with a similar interest or life experience. I write a blog (www.revem.blogspot.com), and apart from a number of other benefits, I am part of an online community. This community called Rev Gal Blog Pals is a community of female clergy. It includes ministers, pastors, chaplains, associate pastors etc. There are about 130 of us from all around the world and the sense of community that is felt amongst this group is surprising. We are able to share our life experiences and have other women understand. We laugh, cry, pray, celebrate and support each other in our life journeys and the strangest part is that I will probably never meet any of these women in my life.
I have often wondered why I feel more connected to someone on the other side of the world than I do my neighbour and I think the answer is shared or common experiences. This is one of the keys to beginning to develop community here with each other. We all have experiences which are shared through school, kids sporting groups, parents groups, our own sporting groups, church, dance, hobby groups, community groups, friends and family. Often in our busy lives we don’t make time to be part of community. I know that for myself I have to deliberately make myself stop and slow down and take the time to talk with others, develop and experience community.
Opportunities for community are so often missed or overlooked because we are already racing to the next thing. Where is community for you?
Local suburban Church