One day last year I walked through the centre of Broadstone with my young son, meeting a variety of people along the way, whom both he and I knew from various walks of our lives. Adam asked me why we were seeing so many people; it was an interesting observational question from a child. I came away from the ensuing conversation feeling happy that he had registered a sense of belonging to a Community. My old copy of the Oxford English Dictionary gives the first definition of Community as ‘joint ownership or liability’. Maybe a sense of living in an area and actively engaging in activities within that area is a good start for teaching our Children about Community, but it needs to go beyond that, we also need to actively contribute to the functioning of our Community if our Children are to one day do likewise.
It is almost six months since I began working for Broadstone Methodist Church, supporting Karen as a Children and Young Families’ Worker. The building that houses our church is so centrally placed in the heart of Broadstone that we are ideally placed to welcome in Children from the Community. It is a pleasure to be a part of the Church Community, helping to welcome Children and their families into our midst, supporting activities to help Care for the needs, physical, social, emotional and spiritual, of the Children and their families who cross our paths within this Community. I hope that the Children we encounter in this way will feel a sense of welcome, that we Care about them. And that as I go about my daily life in Broadstone, meeting those same Children in other places, on the streets, in the shops, schools, swimming pool, library, Scout Hall, they too will learn a sense of belonging to a Community and one day start to feel the need to contribute to that Community, thus continuing the cycle of Compassionate Care.
We enter this world as Children, dependent on the Compassion of our Carers to meet our every need. As adults we need to teach our Children to learn to reciprocate this Care, to help them to grow into adults who are able to give Care back into the Community that has helped to raise them. As a Church it is important that we show Love to all in our Community, welcoming the young and the old into our Church. Christ showed the ultimate in Compassion towards us, dying on the cross to pay for our sins. The cost to us to demonstrate enough Compassion to Care for those in our local Community is small in comparison.