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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Differently...Together

This week on our journey to participate in each Ontario reunion, we attended the CCM gathering (Contemporary Christian Ministries) at the Erie Beach grounds. We were greeted with worshipful music upon arrival as we proceeded to the chapel. Music within CCM is a connecting pathway of expression towards and with God. You have heard the phrase that “an individual wears their heart on their sleeve.” So it is with the worshipful and personal praise, sensitivity and spontaneity of both song and prayer within the CCM sacred community. The presence of God is sensed and cannot be contained. Raised hands, a hand laid upon another’s shoulder, smiles, clapping and perhaps as was seen in the afternoon music concert even dancing openly personifies the feelings of joy within. The comfort level for some would be challenged in this setting, however, personal preference is a privilege and freedom we all enjoy.

Devotion to the Lord is expressed in the testimonies shared whether in worship events, the lineup for lunch or a walk on the grounds. Scripture is well known and daily lives of prayer characterizes the comings and goings of all. I met families from other church affiliations sharing within this community for the week. I shared with families from several US states contributing to the spirit of the reunion. There is a compelling draw of fellowship that permeates the spirit of this gathering.

Scriptural imagery from the context of Paul’s writings used in the themes for the week portrayed the need to take upon oneself the armour of God exemplifying the enduring traits of the Divine. On the opening Sunday Apostle Susan Oxley brought rich testimony of the blessing of God’s peace in her life amidst even in the most fragile and seemingly hopeless moments of life. A mother shared how Susan’s personal witness had vividly touched the life of her 12 yr old son. Evangelist Bev Moor shared his envisioned imagery of Christ walking amongst us and the multitude of ways each individual might respond to his presence. There were touching moments when Kleenex was passed around the chapel.

Within the diversity of Community of Christ are people of faith, each encountering the Divine in fulfilling yet different ways that blesses our lives with grace and meaning and impels us to mission in Christ. Unity in diversity is recognizing the face of God in one another and celebrating the breadth and spectrum of our collective uniqueness. We are one in Christ bringing who we are; differently, what we believe; differently, the models of our worship; differently, the blessing and freedom of self-expression; differently……. together in community when we affirm the worth of one another. Nurturing mutuality, reconciling divergent perspectives, building reciprocity, facilitating meaningful dialogue, opening ourselves and entering into each other’s lives in humility and willingness to be sacred community, is the heart of our identity, even portrayed in the name of our church.

My prayer from visiting with and amongst so many is that we look beyond the wrappings, the package, the avatars of our humanity and strive to encounter ourselves and the Divine in each other.  

Posted by Kerry Richards

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