Wilmot talks Community

Submitted by Wilmot Mennonit... on March 27, 2013 - 1:20pm
A KW faith community holds a community conversation

                    A Community Discussion held at Wilmot Mennonite Church

                                                  March 17, 2013

                                      Reported by Pastor, Dave Rogalsky

Process: We gathered during our Formation (Adult Sunday School) hour to discuss community. About 25 people were present. We began with an open discussion of what we mean when we say “community,” before breaking into groups of three to share memorable experiences of community. These groups then joined into larger groups to answer these questions:

How do we express community together?

Why is community important to us?

Is our experience of community meaningful?

How could we deepen our experience of community?

We then regrouped in plenary and shared what we had heard. We added one more question “What makes community Christian?” in this session.


1.       What is community?

  -                      -    Both positive and negative

                   -      Friendly and caring people

 -    The church itself is a community

 -  “We want to know each other’s business” – this was seen as both positive and negative

 -  When people are there with us in tragedy and joy

-  “A group of people”

-  People who know us

- Community builds good relationships

-  Sometimes community is a false front

- Trust and acceptance are paramount in having a good community


2.       Of which communities are we part?

- Church

-  Place of residence – here some seniors’ apartments were noted

-  Family

 - Mennonite World Conference – a community of almost 2 Million Mennonites and other Anabaptists around the world

- Arts’ Community and other clubs

-  Places where we serve – thrift store, Ten Thousand Villages warehouse in New Hamburg


3.       What were our learnings?

- Good boundaries lead to healthy community – knowing when to say yes to people, and having the right to say no.

- We are all similar in our group

- Working together is good

- Listening needs to include hearing

- We’ve had varied, positive and negative, experiences of community

 - To be in community we sacrifice personal space, time, things, money

- In community we share feelings, and this leads to depth in relationships

 - Trust leads us to experiment, be creative


4.       What makes a community Christian?

 - Love, care, forgiveness

- Knowing  God

- Loving God

- Care of Creation

- We came to the conclusion that one could have a good community without it needing to be Christian


5.       Conclusions:

 We have been working at developping a deepened sense of trust, here at Wilmot the past four years. The discussion itself points to the growing trust that is leading us to speak openly with each other, and is leading to creativity, room to experiment, room to ‘succeed or fail.’ We work at caring for each other – long timers and new comers – in many ways – emotional, physical, social. We recognize God’s call to be a community focussed on God, and yet see that others with other foci can also have healthy communities. In particular we are aware of the importance of healthy boundaries – room to connect and disconnect.