a bouquet of community

During his sermon on Sunday (6/30), Michael talked about Central writing another book of the Bible. If this were the case, there would be a few chapters on community. This is undoubtedly one of the best things that Central does. In Genesis 2:18 God said it is not good that the human is alone. When Jesus started his ministry, did he do it alone? No, he gathered a community to help. I struggle with relationships. As an introverted, enneagram five, with a love language of acts of service, I can be distant. It is a little hypocritical for me to write about community, but it is something I can work on.

In Ryan Casey Waller’s Book, Depression, Anxiety, and Other Things We Don’t Talk About, he states there are four reasons why we need relationships and community.

1. Oxytocin – Also know as the love hormone. It can be released in the body during touch
or hugging. It can produce positive feelings and reduce anxiety. It also aids in trust.
Trust is important in all relationships. Now how important is trust to someone walking
through the red doors for the first time, an unsheltered person, someone struggling with
addiction, or someone that is in a cycle of despair?

2. Belonging – No one wants to be an outsider. I have heard Central called the island of
misfit toys. That island was still a place of belonging for that group. Support groups are
successful for this reason - you have something in common. Belonging is being seen,
heard, valued and safe. We belong to each other. Belonging keeps 9mm bullets in
offering plates instead of in guns.

3. Support – I do not like to ask for help. It can be difficult to ask or admit you need help.
Where would you be without the help and support of others? Asking for help is one of
the strongest things you can do. If you see someone missing a leg and they grabbed a
prosthesis, would you consider them weak? So, help yourself and others, see the
doctors, take the medication, see the therapists, and be happy and encouraging for
those that do.

4. Purpose – If I don’t know my purpose, I’m sure not going to be able to help you figure
out yours. Just remember, purpose in not your what, but your why. Out of all the
churches, why did we pick Central? Why do we choose to bump elbows with this rag tag
motley crew group of folks? One of the easiest ways to love your neighbor is to just be
there. You can give a smile, lend a hand, or sit alongside and say “wow, that really
sucks”. Hopefully during these times, we can find those that will be there for us too.

One of my favorite things about coming to Galveston is the Old Galveston Cemetery in the
spring. I love seeing the yellow flowers. I love seeing how they represent life amongst the
headstones. If you walk to a back of the cemetery, there is a section where the grass is cut. In this section the flowers never grow, and it lacks the beauty of life. If you cut the relationships out of your life, you will not have the beauty of the flowers in yours.