Neighbors From Different Neighborhoods

by DanWolgemuth on September 2, 2022

I’m not sure that I can put a firm timeframe together on when our Colorado Community Church “neighborhood” began to assemble, but at the start it coalesced as a community of care for Mary and me as we brought Eunice Cargo, Mary’s 90-year-old Mom, to church with us.

We tended to gravitate to a particular section of the church where Eunice could sit in an aisle seat so that she could have an unobstructed view of our pastor. She loved every sermon she heard from Robert Gelinas. Don’t we all.

I think it was Nancy Hillyer, a gentle and kind woman who attended by herself and was often the first congregant in the sanctuary on Saturday night who offered to save three seats for us in exactly the right spot. Joyfully we accepted. Over the next several years, eight others would become unofficial members of the CCC Saturday night Neighborhood.

The relocation to a new church property in December of 2019 brought Tom and Toni into the group… and in June of 2020, Eunice relocated to a celestial neighborhood, leaving behind a crew that had assembled around a love and care for her. Logistical compassion had solidified what years of “small group” invitations had been unsuccessful to accomplish.

Covid couldn’t highjack what the Spirit of God had constructed, and weekly Zoom calls drove the pylons of our love deeply into the Word of God.

14 souls. All image bearers. One, now absent from the body.

And from these souls… my understanding of the Kingdom of God has been challenged, expanded and enhanced.

We are a mosaic. Assembled by the author of life to illustrate the beauty, significance and importance of candor, color, community and commitment. Through life. Through death. We have journeyed together.

Menus, music, and memories that broaden nearly every perspective. A richness in breadth as well as depth.

“Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.  If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.” (1 Corinthians 12:18-20)

What I’ve come to realize is that many of the small groups I have been a part of in the past have been a collection of “hands” meeting together. All with similar life experiences, similar political views, similar values and experiences.

It was easy for our “hands” to misunderstand or under appreciate the “feet”. The beautiful feet.

Then, a neighborhood. Different addresses, but the same glorious King and Kingdom. Wildly different life experiences, but the same Spirit.

A movie trailer of Heaven. A Costco sample of what the wedding feast will be like.

The Creator’s palette on display. Different, but with a shared love for Jesus and His mission that creates perspective that is impossible otherwise.

Assuming the best. Confessing the worst. Love without constraint. Neighbors. Forever.

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