Day 21: Community

"Life in community is no less than a necessity for us - it is an inescapable 'must' that determines everything we do and think. Yet it is not our good intentions or efforts that have been decisive in our choosing this way of life.

Rather, we have been overwhelmed by a certainty - a certainty that has its origin and power in the Source of everything that exists. We acknowledge God as this Source. We must live in community because all life created by God exists in a communal order and works toward community."

Excerpted from Why We Live in Community
by Eberhard Arnold, 1925

[first EPIC meeting in our apartment 6.6.10]

God created man to live in community with one another and most of my life I have taken the gift for granted. In fact, I am arriving at the fact that at times, I have tried to escape from this very gift. It's not until you discover that God is all you need that you crave His very presence and desire to have other followers near you.

[breaking bread together at Mama's on Washington Square early for breakfast]

Community has taken on a much richer and deeper meaning for our team and our family since moving to the city. We are stronger together and find encouragement from each other's presence. It's been neat to 'happen' to run into one another on the coffee aisle at our grocery store or pass one another in the apartment complex.

[visiting other churches in area and fellowshipping with believers]

Another blessing of community has been visiting churches in the Bay Area. We have been encouraged by staff and their families and how God is at work here. One church did a BBQ for Father's Day weekend and you can see the boys enjoyed their watermelon.

[eating ice cream on a Friday night in Union Square]

My favorite community moment so far was when our family decided to go to Old Navy to get more necessities for the boys...jeans and socks (for we are wearing them daily with no break in wearing shorts or flip flops!). When I walked out of the dressing room with Elijah and Sam, the whole team was there! Why? Because after a week of work and struggles and ups and downs, we needed each other. So we all grabbed some ice cream and enjoyed fellowship at Union Square before walking back home.

[watching the World Cup -USA vs. Ghana- at Josh's apartment with food of course]

I'm known to state the obvious, but I will state it anyway,

When we are together, we are not alone!

Shauna Pilgreen

And that's exactly how it feels in a city of 800,000. And though our community will grow and is growing, I am thankful for this amazing and powerful gift.

"Living together in one place is safer than living alone. The sacred words of Jesus our God bear witness to the necessity of living together; for He says, 'Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am in the midst of them (Matt 18:20). Likewise Solomon speaks about the danger of living alone when he says, 'Alas for him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up (Eccles. 4:10).

And David calls those who praise God in love and concord blessed when he says, 'Blessed is the people that sing aloud together (Ps. 89:15), and he commends life in community, saying, 'Beyond, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together(Ps. 133:1).

And among the disciples of our Lord there was but a single soul and a single heart (cf. Acts 4:32), ; and even God's incarnation did not take place in the wilderness, but in inhabited areas and among sinful men. Thus we have need of the concord of the communal life. Isolation is treacherous and full of danger."

Nikitas Stithatos, Philokalia, Vol. 4 (Faber)