Tag Archives: Community

The role of Community in becoming Holy (a series of staff reflections)

In the Good Works community we have things that we practice and conversations that remind us to make a habit of the Spiritual Disciplines. For instance, the way we continuously ask questions like “Are we doing the most loving thing.” We are always reading the Bible and always praying and always praising and always worshiping. These are examples of the way we sharpen one another.

Those hungry for God come to the church (the body) looking for truth. I believe God reveals truth to those who are earnestly seeking it. However, since God’s wisdom and knowledge is foolishness to a dark mind that has not been redeemed, we have to be concerned that we are imitating Jesus. Otherwise, when we speak God’s Word to people they will not be able to receive it. Our speech, actions and our lives must line up with what we say. We can either be true witnesses of who God is and of His Kingdom Advancing on earth, or we can corrupt the witness of who God is and His Kingdom coming on earth.

God continuously tells us to seek Him. Our sinful condition leaves us vulnerable and God is the only one who can cover/protect our vulnerability. To live Holy we must seek God. As we seek God the Holy Spirit reveals truth to us. We cannot know truth on our own. This is one reason why Jesus told the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit before they went out.

People are hungering and thirsting – but they often don’t know that it is for God. God changes us when we seek Him and live a holy life and that change becomes evident to all. It is not perfection they are seeing- but like the descriptions of the men and women of God in the Bible – those around them knew they had been in God’s presence. We want to be this type of community.
How do we genuinely become such a community?

— Terri Woodson

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The role of community in resurrection and vision: a series of staff writings

We are all living a type of resurrection.

Colossians 3 says, “you have been raised with Christ…set your minds on things above…for you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” I think once we have sunk into the comfort of our Christian lives we forget how powerful these words from Colossians can be.

Romans 8 also says, “if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” What a generous God. Not only did he raise Jesus from the dead but he also gave us new life. We are a new creation through our Christian rebirth, through the forgiveness of our sins. When we choose Christ we die to our selfish ambitions and pursuits and are given a new life.

The same is true for community. When we choose community we have a new life experience. Jean Vanier in his book Community and Growth says, “A community must be a sign of the resurrection.” (pg. 196). It is a process, first beginning with our self and our commitment to Christ. We must die daily to our selfishness and thank God for our new life with Him, in Him. Then, when we enter community, we die daily for the sake of others. We are reminded again that we need to die to live with others, together serving our Christ with the poor, with the stranger, with the fatherless. We first die to ourselves for the sake of our self then we die to our self for the sake of others, for the sake of our community.

— Emily Axe

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The role of community in healing: a series of staff writings

Part of what makes healing out of our brokenness seem so difficult is that while we are suffering, it seems as if we will always remain in our pain, that there is little likelihood that there is hope for improvement, for healing. One of the things that community provides is the encouragement to believe that things need not always remain as they are, community provides hope in its absence, and can be a constant reminder that we are not alone in our pain.

Another antidote to suffering provided in community is a place to be, to belong, during the healing process. The pain of loneliness serves to compound the pain of brokenness, making it feel all the more insurmountable. Having a place to be, where no performance is required, where there is no falseness or expectation, allows us to move into our brokenness, to determine its cause, and to heal. The support found in community lightens the load put on the broken places, just as a crutch serves to lighten the load until we are healed enough to walk under our own power. A crutch, however, is only useful to a certain extent, and after the initial healing, if a crutch continues to be relied upon too heavily, the limb, rather than becoming stronger, will atrophy and weaken. In community this need not be the case, for even before we are fully healed, we can put our brokenness and healing to use, in service to others, in love and support, as others also heal. We can use our broken places and the healing we are experiencing to heal others, thus creating strength, and healing, previously unknown to us. This mutuality ensures that no one person becomes weak from too much support, and that all are able to use theirs gifts for the good of others. This is one movement of redemption in the world; as we heal, we use our woundedness to recognize and heal the woundedness of others.

— Chris Linscott

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the Body of Christ (a series of staff reflections)



The Body of Christ is not something formed later, it is not doing in the future:

It is here now.

Doing now.

Here is wherever I am, you are, we are.

I cannot expect to change the entire world and neither can you.

But

I can change me

and

you can change you

and

together we can change each other

and perhaps

perhaps we can change ourselves in such a way that compels others to notice, to join – but this is secondary.

These changes ought to grow Love in me and in us.  These changes ought to make me a better lover of people, of the earth, of justice and peace.  These changes ought to tangibly affect the people around me here in my community, in my life, in my sphere of influence (but I’ll l come back to this later).  These changes ought to change my world and my place in it. And together, these changes ought to change our world and our place in it.

-Jane Krosse

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mission Statement (1)

“Good Works exists to connect people from all walks of life with people in poverty so that the kingdom of God can be experienced. ”

In this entry and others to come we will be sharing our perspective on this statement. Our goal was not to change it, but to put in our own words, from our hearts, what it means.

Please join our conversation about this, leave a comment.

 

We want to experience and be God’s kingdom on earth.  We want to experience this and be this together, with all kinds of people, especially people who may be overlooked.  And we want to invite others to join with us. —Anne Wilson

 

People have different gifts, talents and habits, and come from many different cities, states, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. Good Works intentionally seeks ways, avenues, doors, opportunities for people to mingle, sit, eat, talk and interact with someone they would not be able to in the course of their normal day.  When people of higher position associate with people of low position, those who are poor in the eyes of the world, but rich in faith, the kingdom of God is expressed and experienced. —Sherilyn Weinkauf

 

 

 

 

the Church in unity,

welcoming not-yet-believers

to love and serve and become friends with people in poverty,

so that God’s desires can be accomplished:

healing, justice, salvation, reconciliation.

—DAWN Tobin

 

Good Works provides avenues for people to enter relationships powerful enough to raise valleys and lower mountains that the kingdom of God and the Word of God maybe seen. —Chip Guyton

 

We seek to love Jesus and be loved by Him.

We seek to know Jesus and be known by Him.

We seek at accept grace and to offer grace.

We seek to love others and be loved by them.

We acknowledge that the world is broken, that we are broken, and

We seek to be healed and create contexts for healing.

We seek to form relationships with and encourage others to form relationships with individuals of different backgrounds with the constant attitude of worship

And the unceasing prayer that we can witness on earth

Snapshots of what Heaven is like. —Amanda Juarez-Porter Carlyle

 

“We have been called to the exciting and sometimes daunting task of bringing God’s Kingdom into realization by creating scenarios whereby the two disparate socio-economic groups—the “haves” and the “have-nots”—can come into close proximity in a safe and mutually beneficial relationship.” —Ken Weinkauf


More to come…


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