Strengthening the Community

Sometimes I don’t know what people mean when they talk about their “community”. They could easily be describing their neighborhood, their soccer team, their tight circle of friends, their recovery cohort, or something else entirely. A community is a group of people bound together in some way, sharing a common life. What binds them together is part of the definition of that community, whether proximity, interest, relationship, or need. Admiral Church, like all church communities, is a community defined in part by all of these things. 

Regardless of what brought you to this community (proximity, interest, relationship or need), we are here to deepen our connections in all four of these areas. Strengthening our church community means becoming more intricately bound
together such that we see ourselves sharing a common life, even when we are living that life apart from each other. This season of remote relationships has clarified for me the gift of church as community, and of the church organization as
community hub. 

When I look at Admiral Church, I see three distinct groups of people: new members, newer members, and members who have known multiple pastors. We welcomed seven new members this month (their bio’s are on pg. 4 and 5). You joined for various reasons, yet all of you felt that even in these strange times, your proximity, interests, relationships and/or needs were fed and met in some way by our community. This says much about what we are building together! Our newer members have come on in groups of 6-10 over the past six years, adding palpably to the healing and hope our church offers here in West Seattle. You have added your voices to the leadership teams, your labor to the community events, your insight to our co-learning and worship, and your love to our shared life. Our seasoned members have endured pastoral transitions and have maintained our
commitment to an inclusive, affirming faith. You carry the wisdom of legacy, the stories of triumph and tragedy, and the tenacity of trust in a God who makes a way.

Whichever type of member you are, you are now one body in Christ, part of a common life together in North Admiral, West Seattle. As we know, bodies draw strength from the interdependence of their parts. Our strength as a church community is not based in our leadership, but in our fellowship; a basket’s strength is determined by the tightness of its weave. In that spirit, I would like to challenge you to bravely reach out to someone in each of the other two groups and start tightening the weave. A simple phone call affirming their location in the community and a curiosity about what keeps them coming back (proximity, interest, relationship, or need) is a beautiful place to start.

Let us be brave, let us be humble, let us be joyful; for even in these challenging times, we are One in the Lord. It is this Oneness from which we will draw our strength to persevere.

In Peace and With Love,
Pastor Andrew

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