Reverb #7: Community

Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? I've experienced community online at the Abbey of the Arts, and on Facebook: I love seeing friends of mine (who don't know one another) interact with one another.

Last month I had my first meetup with someone I've known for six years online. What fun!

"Real-life" community: I'm in a couple of different clergy groups that save my life and bring me joy all the time. My Writing Revs push me and listen to me and read my stuff, and last month, they threw me a party to celebrate the book contract.

I am also in a clergy group that gets together to talk about family systems stuff in our congregations. Last spring I was on the fence about whether to continue, until I saw how the group came together to walk with a fellow pastor who was going through a hellatious experience, and I thought, "OK. I'm definitely in on this again."

And one of my favorite weeks of the whole year is being with a group of clergy friends, as we get together to study the lectionary, share papers about the texts, gripe and laugh about ministry, and love each other through all manner of stuff. They are a godsend.

My family is my favorite community. We all have our moments, but they are great company.

As I write this list I realize that my community has become very professionally-based. It's never good to get insular, but it's especially hazardous for clergy. So next year I want to break out of that next year and cultivate my friendships and relationships with non-clergy.