Community (DOP #23 2014)

I might get to add a few photos to this in a few days, but I don’t want to spoil the surprises in store for those attending Dayspring Christmas Eve services tomorrow.  Check back soon!  

The last 2 weeks have been remarkably busy.  I went from being unbelievably not busy, to suddenly so busy that I basically didn’t see my family for 2 weeks, since we live in the same house, I think that might give you an idea of my schedule.  A large part of the busyness of my schedule the last 2 weeks, was related to it being the Christmas season and volunteering at church to help with Christmas Eve services and preparation.  I did the math and I think I have been at church for more than 11 hours of rehearsals, 14.5 hours of services, 9 hours of set/effect construction, and 4 hours of video production and editing.  That works out to about 38.5 hours of volunteering at church in the last 3 weeks.

The best part of those 38+ hours is the fact that I am not serving alone.  For each hour I have put in, someone else has put in at least one of their own.  From musicians to greeters, cooks to teachers, nursery workers to tech guys and gals, there are probably hundreds of people giving of their time and talent to help make our church services a reality.  I don’t know if I could ever really wrap my head around what it really takes for a church to function well during the Christmas season.

At church, my role tends to be primarily related to tech.  I sometimes troubleshoot weird lighting problems, help change batteries in microphones, and I occasionally help create videos or assist in minor set construction stuff.  Our level of technical production has greatly increased this year, and the ambition of the tech crew has really blown me away.  We are doing things that sounded cool on paper, but I did not really expect to see happen.  It has been pretty incredible.  I get to be a part of all of our services this weekend, and even though I know exactly what is going to happen, and when it is going to happen, I am still surprised by how cool it is.

I could never make all of these things happen by myself.

Even if I did somehow create an automated system that would automatically trigger all of our effects, lighting, and unmute audio channels, I can’t play all of the instruments by myself, and I certainly couldn’t be a greeter welcoming people into the service.  I could make most of the tech stuff work without any help if I had 3 months to program everything and nothing else to do with my life, but the show still wouldn’t go on.  It is too much for one person.  In fact, no one volunteer or even full time employee can pull off something so grand by themselves.  I like to think that I could manage it, but the truth is that there is no possible way it could be done.

This is the secret, and something we must keep in mind as we pursue peace globally and locally.

You can never make everything happen by yourself.

It takes a community of people, working together with a common goal to do anything of great significance.  In this community, we find people with different talents than ours, we find people with different perspectives than ours, and we find people who have different resources than we have.  These seemingly small distinctions between us are what make us stronger as a community pursuing peace.  An individual pursuing peace can achieve much, but a community pursuing peace can achieve more than the simple addition of our efforts would suggest.

In fact, I get to watch this exact concept play out with readers of this website.

Together, and as of this evening, we have raised $700  to bring clean water to people who do not have access to it right now.  I couldn’t have done that by myself.  I don’t have the resources on my own, but I did have a vision, and I shared it with a community of like-minded people.  Once I shared my vision, I donated what I could, but it fell far short of the ultimate goal.  I couldn’t do it on my own.  Slowly, but steadily, others (most of whom remain anonymous) have chosen to give their resources to the cause as well.  Others have shared our cause with friends or family, and still others will bring us closer to the goal in the days to come.  I do not know for sure who most of these people are, but they have chosen to act in community to help bring a taste of peace to a community in need.  I am honored to be a part of a community that is doing what it can to change the world.

I could have never done this much on my own.

The church I am a part of is made better by the combined service of individuals pursing the goals of the church.  In just the same way our little group of readers and writers here are better as a community that is united in a goal of peace.  Our church volunteers do not always agree on the what the best method is, and I am sure many of you do not agree with some of the statements I have made over the last 23 days, but we choose to put aside our egos in service of a larger cause.

It has been an honor to serve and learn with each and every one of you.

Lets share our visions for peace with each other, and pursue them together.

Want to join the community?  There is still time…and we would love to have you. 

A community of people, serving a community across the world, with love.

A community of people, serving a community across the world, with love.

#25 Days of Peace (An Introduction)