The idea of community has become an important one for me
over the last number of years. It was as I discovered the ‘community of the
broken” through Up Town Church that this concept gripped me. As I lay a
physically shattered person after a bad fall God showed me that my body was a
parable of my inward brokenness. It was the community of the broken who nursed
my soul to the measure of health I now enjoy, and I became sold on the idea of
community. During my time leading Taylor College this value was a paramount
one. We focussed on a discipleship rooted and nurtured in community.
This summer I witnessed afresh the power of community. Linda
and I went to visit my mother. I had not seen her for a year and as I left,
after our visit, a year ago, I wondered if that would be my last visit with my
mom. Over the course of the next year my brother helped her to move from her
own apartment building into a seniors’ community near him. This year as we
visited she looked so much better and attributes much of this improvement to
living in community.
A new opportunity has come to me to both experience and
foster community. I was offered and accepted the position of Community Chaplain
for Saint John Community Chaplaincy. Many of my friends at Up Town are also
part of this community. This community is a gathering of folks whose lives have
been impacted by the Corrections system. Over the years there has developed a
wonderful community around the rooms accessed through the Sewell St. entrance
to Stone Church.
I am very humbled by this offer and I feel it is the next
step for me. In some ways I will be swimming in a bit bigger pond. I am not
naive, I know community while so beneficial is often extremely difficult. I
realize that I have a steep learning curve. These facts must drive me to Jesus!
The beauty of this is that it allows me to stay on track
with many of my goals as Missioner with Threshold Ministries. I will continue
with Up Town and maintain a care for Community 113. I will continue to blog.
When I became Missioner the goal of becoming self supporting was set before me
with an initial financial target set. As I went about this I was wondering if
God might not be calling me to ‘Tent Making’, my problem is that after 30 +
years with Threshold Ministries I was light on marketable skills. This
opportunity allows me to contribute towards my support and at the same time
expand and potentially deepen my service. I think God must delight in answering
in this “above all we can imagine” kind of way.
I start September 1. Please pray.