The following post was taken from Major Phil Aho's blog. It's from a few weeks ago, but last night I was reminded once again that forming genuine community takes time. It's so encouraging to consider where we started just a few months ago, and where we are today.
Oh, and you should definitely subscribe to Major's blog: Intersections in the Urban Mission. You'll be glad you did.
We pulled up into the Temple Corps parking lot at 3:07 PM today. We crossed the street. Sara greeted us at the gate and we walked along the side of the house, past Temple Gardens, opened the wooden gate. We had arrived for Temple Houses’ Memorial Day BBQ.
Darren had wheeled the new Weber from his place on Texas Avenue. Chicken legs and his own Buffalo wings recipe. Hot dogs. We all pitched in with salads, fresh fruit, spoonbread. Plenty to eat.
Alex and Ashlee from Royal Oak MI were visiting this weekend, checking out Temple Houses. John Stewart was back in town from Colorado to attend a conference; it was good to see him again. And just about all of the regular TH community were able to come share table fellowship under the shade of the apple tree which has been miraculously restored to health.
Gail wanted to show Kirsten the house we will soon move into. I needed to come along to open the key lock box. We walked east a block to 2708 Arsenal. It’s still under construction but now the shape of the apartment is clear. Soon we will live on Arsenal Street.
Back under the apple tree it felt good. Warm weather zephyrs. Sitting with these young adults who we feel are beginning to form genuine community. It’s not an immediate, sure thing. Community cannot be commanded. But we are beginning to experience it, to sense the connections and relationships, and even some understanding of life together in service to the world God so loves. The label we choose to use is missional community. Labels can’t be avoided. We’ve avoided ‘incarnational ministry’. We prefer community in mission, life together in service.
I began to feel drowsy. I ate too much today. Sitting together, sharing food. We were pretty content. Be content with what you have. That was my earliest remembrance of a scripture recitation. A Nathan’s hot dog. Watermelon. A dab of potato salad. Together.