Chapter 10 » 10.11

Our community

It was said of the early Christians, ‘Behold, how they love one another’. Could this equally be said of us? Or are our meetings places where newcomers may not always be welcomed, where people feel alone? What happens to those who are part of our meetings? Are their lives changed? Do they care more? Love more? What do we know of one another’s lives outside of the meeting? Of one another’s spiritual journeys? Do we seek to share joys and humour as well as sorrows, or are we perhaps too near the ‘sober-sides’ images of popular belief? Surely the nurturing of relationships and the response to their breakdown will arise from the willingness of each of us to enter with imagination and love into one another’s lives. If we truly know one another then we are likely to be sensitively aware of one another’s needs. Often it is just being alongside someone; listening; a gentle touch when words cannot be found. Our extreme busyness, and the pressure and tension of modern life, make it at once more necessary and at the same time more difficult that our meetings should become living and loving communities.

June Ellis, 1986

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