Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Becoming a People Gatherer

Lately, my community has been reflecting on how we came together.  We've been in the news twice because others folks take notice of this strange phenomenon. 

In the last few years, we learned the art of gathering.  To gather means to cause to come together. 

We figure out a reason to come together, and each neighbor brings his or her own flair.  In the midst of ladies lunches, the play date for Dads, Saturday pancakes, Monday Night Fitness (which grew from 4 people to 50!), community service projects, walking to school, potluck dinners, birthday celebrations, living room singer-songwriter concerts, or whatever else might happen in a week, we consciously decide to do it together. 

We resist the temptation towards isolation.   And we gather, even if the invitation puts us into unusual situations with folks we aren't used to.  Whatever we are doing, we ask ourselves, "Which family can I invite along?" 

Living with flair means finding a reason to bring the neighbors together.  You have to pick up your phone or go door-to-door.  Whatever it takes, you fight isolation and gather people into community.  And once everybody has a place to belong, we all flourish and discover this is how it was meant to be. 

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Journal:  What families do I need to gather into my community? 

5 comments:

Roberta @ Silverwalk said...

In my rural neighborhood, we watch out for each other, invite to functions, support one another during floods (like this spring) but we do not gather as you describe. We are aware of one another, we keep to ourselves but when there is a need, we are there. When I had a trach in for almost 3 months and couldn't talk, if I were stopped on the road, a neighbor would make sure I was OK. When we were flooded, my Coonhounds and their bays drove my neighbors crazy as their vehicles and boats were in front of my field, so I boarded the Coonies, which was good because I ran out of land vs water!

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a wonderful community!
Sadly, we seldom see our neighbors.

Charity Singleton said...

This sounds so inviting and yet strangely, this happens so often. Although I do have a community of friends and acquaintances that is more loosely geographic that I spend a lot of time with. This spirit of inclusiveness you mention, though, that sounds so appealing.

Barbara Thayer said...

What wonderful thoughts Heather! We can so enjoy fellowship and learn to appreciate one another more when we are in community. Our church does a lot of outreach in the community. When there is a local festival in our town, our church has a water booth for the very hot weather. We meet, greet and offer water to any and all. No agenda but to serve. It is such a blessing. We were, after all, made for fellowship! Thank you for sharing this wonderful sneak peek into your life.

Byran said...

Like.