What is your Primary Community?

The power of a Community of Faith

You are very likely a member of many communities – communities that are held together by different bonds.

The many communities to which we belong

You’re a member of the neighbourhood where you live, where you share the bonds of location and local resources such as roads, schools, and parks. At work, you’re part of a community of co-workers. Perhaps you’re a member of a sports team that has fun playing together, or of a group of hobbyists who find shared pleasure in a recreational pursuit. Maybe you’re a member of a professional organization that’s working to benefit the profession, or maybe you’re a member of a volunteer organization that’s passionate about improving people’s lives.

These communities are all good but they have something in common: they are defined by a secular purpose and a belief that the community itself drives its destiny.

The community that stands apart

1001 Primary CommunityThere is another kind of community that stands apart, and that is a community of faith such as the one that is St. John’s York Mills. This community is held together by a shared belief in something transcendent, something greater than ourselves that shapes our destiny. This shared faith in a transcendent God and in the trust in God’s work among us, provides a richness that holds the community together and supports its members in ways that no secular purpose can.

As one member of St. John’s put it: This feels like my primary community. If St. John’s suddenly vanished, I would feel a deep loss as if a family member had died.

Or as another put it: I’ve been in organizations such as a professional society and in social groups, but I have never felt a genuine sense of community as I have at St. John’s. There’s comfort, support, and permission to be vulnerable that I have never experienced in any other organization.

What is your Primary Community?

So I suggest: if it is not already, consider making this community of faith, the congregation of St. John’s, your primary community. This is a community that you may find challenging at times, but one that will nurture your spiritual health and well-being like no other.


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