One Neighborhood at a Time

Lara Schopp Adult Music, Articles, Connect, Staff Messages

How do you build Community? One neighborhood at a time.

My 8th grade class at school consisted of 53 students; classmates I had grown up with and known my whole long life. Together we entered our high school of 4,000…1,000 in our freshman
class. This could have been pretty daunting were it not for our community and the support we provided one another while exploring and adjusting to our new environment. So many people to meet and so many opportunities for participation! Where to begin?

At Country Club Christian, the vision set before us by the Congregational Board is to invite people into small groups where they will feel included, grow spiritually, and be inspired to serve others. We are called to love our neighbor, across town and around the world. But do you literally know your neighbors down the street or just around the corner from you? Maybe they’re some of the same people you see every Sunday at church.

A year ago, Dr. Mike Graves was our guest preacher and it was at the 9:00 a.m. service outdoors when we first heard about, and celebrated, “joyful Communion.” He talked about how the earliest Christians met every day to share a meal while moving to a different house each time. Each person brought something for the meal to share with others. Mike called it the church’s first pot-luck supper. They sat on the floor, discussed not only Jesus’ teachings, but probably politics of the day. The common meal was the center point for Christian fellowship, followed by worship and celebration of the Lord’s Supper. From all walks of life, everyone was included; everyone was welcome to share in the meal. Beyond the material benefits, such as the meal, the Christian community brought a sense of belonging that had never been extended to society’s marginalized people.

On three Tuesday nights in September, Mike Graves will explore three key considerations of this meal: intimacy, inclusion and joy. Through October and November, members and guests alike are invited to participate in neighborhood groups across our area just as the early Christians did and experience fellowship around a meal, guided discussion relating to Mike’s lessons, and celebration of Communion. From these neighborhoods we come together as one large congregation for Sunday worship and work together during the week for the greater good.

How do you build community? One neighborhood at a time. Share in the experience.