Last January, Jeff and I knew that we needed a community without a commute. For too many years, we took two freeways to get to church on Sunday morning. And we realized that the distance in proximity paralleled the distance in relationships.
Fellowship isn’t found by freeway. It’s found in your neighborhood, with the people you see on a daily basis.
So one of our goals for this year was to invest in our local community.
And we’ve done so in a variety of ways.
First, we committed to a church that is within walking distance of our house. The teaching continues to challenge us week after week, and we’re so thankful for our pastor.
But we’re “doing church” a little differently these days. Our church has multiple services during the weekend, so we started attending church on Saturday night. It felt weird at first because we’re so used to “Sunday morning church.” But we’ve discovered that we really enjoy this new rhythm.
Our Saturdays are now full with watching the kids’ soccer games, mowing the lawn, and taking care of household chores. Then we go to church in the evening.
We’ve actually begun practicing the traditional Jewish Sabbath, which is sundown on Saturday to sundown on Sunday.
When we wake up on Sunday morning, we have the WHOLE day to spend together as a family. And it’s made such a refreshing difference to the pace and rhythm of our entire week.
Another way we’ve invested in our local community is to lead a group of Cub Scouts from our son’s school. With several families from the surrounding neighborhoods, we’ve gone on numerous trips — including, of course, camping! Through these times together, we’ve built memories with families who live close by.
As a family, we’ve started new traditions (even some silly ones), and we’ve experienced more of God’s creation outdoors. Connecting with our local community has been one of the wisest investments of time we’ve ever made.
We’re deeply grateful for the seeds of hope this year has brought. And we’re excited to watch the New Year unfold.
What part of 2012 are you most thankful for?
PHOTO CREDIT: By Kumaravel (Creative Commons)