This Lent we give birth to a new project at Cedar Park: Caring Community.
Like every newborn, it will take us some time to discover its character, its features, but we do know something about its genetics! Caring Community is a way helping every single person in our Cedar Park Community discover and strengthen their God-given capacity to care for self and for others.
The premise for this project is quite simple:
We care because we are creatures made in the image of a loving, caring, healing, mending God, (Gen 1:26). God calls us to be in life-giving relationship with God, one another and creation. It’s a call God gives to to all, not just to some.
The implications of this are alarmingly vast! Peggy Way, who is a “Pastoral Theologian” (meaning she has great wisdom to offer on this topic), speaks of a paradigm shift in the way Christian Communities understand Christ’s call for us to Love God, Neighbour and Self. For a good two generations now, “Pastoral Care” in a congregation was seen as the task/role/responsibility of the Pastor (Minister) and a chosen few, professionals, or well-trained designated volunteers, offering specialized care to individuals. While this model has much to offer, this new paradigm reconnects with some ancient, faithful wisdom:
- “Care is something we do, because we are human.” We don’t need professional qualifications to perceive and respond to human needs.
- Humans are made to thrive in community; care is most effective when it is done by, with, in, and for community. A congregation/community is itself “a hospitable community of care” (Way).
- Care in community is a hallmark of the Way of Jesus Christ; called into fellowship as well as discipleship, the followers of the Way of Jesus developed communities of care, where mutual care nourished the community so that they could then seek to be a place of mission, care and justice in God’s world.
During Lent, we’ll explore some of this ancient faithful wisdom, and we will take time to get to know this newborn in our midst, as we imagine together a future as a Caring Community.
More to come!
To read Peggy Way’s article, click this link. http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/190/the-caring-congregation