Living Into Community
In her book, Living Into Community, Christine Pohl identifies “making and keeping promises” as one of the four essential practices of living well together as a community. Along with practices of gratitude, truth-telling and hospitality, Pohl sees the ability to make promises and to endure in keeping them over time and through trial as foundational in forming and sustaining places of belonging.
I want to invite you into the practice of promise-keeping in the life of COTC. For the first time ever, we inviting people to formally become members of this church community. Following the corporate worship next Sunday, May 7, there will be the opportunity to participate in our first Membership Class. This class will take a couple of hours (lunch and childcare will be provided) and will involve a discussion of the gospel that animates our love together, and how that gospel is embodied in COTC’s common life. The class will conclude with an invitation to commit together to a vision of life together as the church — an opportunity to make promises to one another. At a later point, we will celebrate these promises together in our worship.
For many of us, community is lacking in our lives and we find the practices that sustain it difficult. As I’m writing this I’m listening to David Ramirez’s song “Stick Around,” and I’m struck by how his lyrics resonate so well with this theme of community. Ramirez sings, “I wish someone would hold me down and say/Stick Around/At least occasionally/Stick Around/There ain't no reason for leaving/This life's too good boy and I think you're missing out/Stick Around.”
We are made for, and long to belong with, others. We long for others to rely upon and to be relied upon by others, but we are often unsure of where and with whom we belong. By the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, we have a place of belonging with God and with one another. In the church we have a place to remain, abide and taste the goodness of the life of God.
If that seems good to you, and you’re interested in “sticking around” with us, I encourage you to sign up and come out on the 7th. Attending the class is not committing to becoming a member, but is the first step in doing so.
The Gospel makes us brothers and sisters together — makes us belong to one another. Membership is one of the primary ways we can press into this reality. Please consider it, and let’s stick together!