Community Events

Over the weekend I was once again presented with a number of opportunities to consider community. Friday evening, Debbie and I took the four girls out to Chapters, a local bookstore that participates in the First Friday Art Walks in the downtown area of Newberg. We went to hear the African drumming that Christian Kofi and his friend, Felix performed. The drumming was great and so was my visit with several neighbors and friends that stopped by. I know that the First Friday events were initiated by the business community as a way of getting folks to visit galleries, restaurants and shops in the Newberg downtown. I must admit that I am not much of a shopper, but I did greatly enjoy seeing folks having fun and visiting with one another. I met a Portland author, Hunter Greg. Hunter was promoting his book, Where Dogs Run, a self-published work of fiction. Check it out here.

I must admit that I was not extremely excited to go out on Friday evening, but thanks to Debbie, I ventured out and had a great time. I realize that for me, it is necessary to make a commitment to honor family time and community time when I often only desire to be at home working on a project by myself.

On Saturday, I participated in a Friends meeting for worship at the Friends meeting house on Sea Turtle Island in Second Life. This is the first time I had been in meeting in Second Life in about 4 months. I had to re-adjust my attitude to enter into worship in this environment and did not find it as worshipful as I have in the past. I did meet Jon Seattle, who had helped in the building of this meeting house and who also (I believe) owns the land on which it sits. I intend to re-commit myself to meeting with Friends in SL on a regular basis. I find it a meaningful experience, and it does help me reflect on how and why I relate to or choose not to relate to others.

My three courses began this weekend. All three of the courses are delivered online through George Fox University. I enjoyed reading messages from students as they entered the course spaces and began their journeys of learning this fall. I do enjoy the sense of community that is created in the courses and I must admit I am longing for more live and f2f interaction with my students.

On Sunday, at North Valley Friends Church, we had a ministry fair, as part of our Sunday morning worship service. Afterwards, we had a barbecue and ice cream social. During the ministry fair, I positioned myself, along with my colleague Amy, at the Education Committee table. I had good visits with a number of folks that came by, as we shared about educational activities at North Valley. I can’t say I was overly gregarious during the barbecue and ice cream time, as I was watching kids (is that an excuse?). It was fun to have food and fellowship. I really enjoyed the peanut butter ice cream, but the raspberry was my favorite!

It is great to be alive and to have friends, family and colleagues to interact with. I have’nt the time to share about Bible study or watching football with Paul, or cleaning the roof off with Becky, but all three of those activities were, in some regard, community building as well.

It does take work to be a community member. But, work can be quite meaningful and enjoyable. It does take risk to be a community member. But, what is growth if not risky business. We have to give up a little of what we believe about who we are and perhaps surrender our comfort to learn more about ourselves and one another.

Carry On!

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