With God, With Each Other, and With Our Community

 

By Elizabeth Burgess

 

For me, with is a word that I often breeze past while reading; “I’d like my sandwich with mayo” “Wear a shirt with a collar” “She lives with her family” “I agree with you” “I’m with you”

But lately, the word with has taken on a whole new meaning for me. It lets me know that I’m not alone. It’s a word that comforts me, gives me hope and brings me encouragement—especially when things are hard. And right now, in facing things such as coming out of a pandemic, healing from racial turmoil and threats of war, I find comfort, hope and encouragement in the with.

 

God WITH us

In a very tangible form through the life of Jesus, God came to physically be with us. Emmanuel, God with us. His presence now takes on an even more intimate form through the Holy Spirit living within us. I am personally comforted knowing God is with me in every situation and moment every day.

 

Us WITH one another

I can’t take on our community’s challenges alone and no one church or organization can either. Collectively, with each other, I find the hope that we can. I know we can make a greater impact together. I look at the way in which Jesus lived and taught and I find hope that united with one another we can love and care for our neighbors.

 

WITH the community

Every community should be flourishing and thriving, but things aren’t as they should be. My sin and selfishness, our sin and selfishness, has led to brokenness. And just as God didn’t leave us there, he joined us. As I embrace this good news, I’m encouraged to do the same with my brothers and sisters. To love, suffer and be with each other.

Our community has the potential to be a place where children, families and neighbors could be connected to each other and supported. Imagine a community where every individual has access to the right relationships and resources to truly flourish.

 

We have an opportunity to take the first step to do just that. We invite you to join us at this year’s Serve The City Conference for a time to be with God, connect with one another as we learn ways we can be with our community as we seek the welfare of our city.