discovering your community

March 1, 2008

Every new pastor, and mostly anyone who has ever moved to a new community, know the experience of getting to know a new community. I guess when you’re doing a job in the public eye it just becomes a much more complex process, cause it has to happen so fast. So I’ve been discovering our community the last few months, which could be difficult. Firstly, we have about 1000 people attending on a Sunday morning, secondly, the area is about 10km by 30km big, since much of it is still situated on plots, and even farms, although it is a city congregation.

But today I think discovering your community got a new meaning. One of our elders, which is responsible for youth ministry, and whom I’ve got to know over the past few months, got connected with an student in ecology a while ago, and arranged a visit. So we went into the blazing sun, and looked and listened to her explaining how she is mapping the plants in our area, a three year process which she just started. I know nothing about plants, and it was quite an interesting experience.

And suddenly I realized that this was part of getting to know my community. The ecological situation within my community is part of what I need to know. Although my interest in ecology is much more on a global scale, especially concerning global warming, I believe we need to be aware of our local ecology as well, and act in ways that would benifit our local ecology, as well as the global ecology.

Everyone do not live in places with lots of natural beauty, kilometers of fields with plants and animals, but even if you need to drive a distance, maybe take the time to ask someone to also introduce you to the ecology of your community, and not just the humans.

2 Responses to “discovering your community”

  1. Adam G. Says:

    Back when I was full-time in ministry, before I took a “regular job” and got too busy for it, I went hiking as often as I could. I’m not sure what any ecological concerns would have been worth bringing forward at the time, but it certainly helped me recuperate for the challenges of ministry.

    Frankly, I hated the process of getting to know a community as a full-time minister. It felt a bit fake to me. Like I was SUPPOSED to care because I had been hired for that purpose.

    Oh well.

  2. Cobus Says:

    Thanx for the comment

    I guess it depends on what’s expected. We have a more natural approach, which actually takes longer, but does not involve going from house to house for some coffee and small-talk.

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