Community: a unified body of individuals: as
a : the people with common interests living in a particular area; broadly : the area itself (the problems of a large community)
b : an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location c : a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society (a community of retired persons)
Source: Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

I read somewhere recently that what our society is missing these days is a sense of community. We do very little "together" compared to the generations only a few decades ago. I think the author was on to something here. Common activities provide context for us to get involved in each other's lives and thus become a key enabler to caring about one another. It is really hard for me to become personally involved in the lives of people I don't know....It doesn't matter whether they are here in Richmond or in Zambia.

Now.. If I sing in a choir with them, work with them, worship with them, live next door to them, That changes everything. Suddenly, I am less focused on me and more on them. We need to find things to do together. Identify our purposes and common activities and then focus our energy on finding others to do those things with.. singing, playing, building, etc.. Funny, kids do this naturally.. Most of the senior adults I know do it too.. but those of us in the "busy" stage of our lives seem to want to ignore people around us, family, friends, neighbors.. and focus on us.. That can't be right. We all know it, yet we go every day in some form of denial..I'll get to know them tomorrow, we can do something together next week, month, year.. until suddenly we don't really know anyone at all. We go through our days pretending that all of those people around us don't really exist...strange that we have convinced ourselves that this is okay. Deep down, we know that not caring is not the right thing.. but it is the safe thing. If I don't know you, you can't hurt me, I don't have to worry about helping you, blah blah blah... the idea that is supposed to make my life easier seems to create an awful lot of complexity. Simpler maybe to just help the people in front of me.. Trusting that they are "in my life" for a reason, maybe to work with, worship with, or just laugh with..

Getting to know people or at the very least "about people" is the key. Locally, I think that building more community and trying to maximize the number of things that people do together is a key focus of anyone in leadership.... I know, I know.. some of you are saying.. duh.. Where have I been for the last 50 years, there is nothing new here. True it may seem self evident and blatently obvious, but I don't think that we always see what is right in front of our face.

Question was asked in sunday school this morning.. We read the scriptures regularly, we even study them, but do we actually listen..the more I pursue this writing the more I am convicted that thinking and writing are not going to do much in the end, except serve as a self-aggrandizing, pseudo-therapy. The times that we live in call for action and change.

Tracee and I want to start a music school... to maybe even make that our sole vocation supporting both our performance aspirations and our family... lofty dreams, but we are already working on the business plan, it is not impossible... The arts are due for a revival as our society realizes that it is sorely in need of beauty.

We want others to experience the beauty, passion, and intensity that music, particularly classical music can provide. We may not be able to revive classical music as a whole, but if we can create musical communities, a whole series of little musical cells 8-15 kids and adults linked via a common purpose: the pursuit of beauty through music. Maybe, just maybe the Lord will grant us the opportunity to impact some lives and be witnesses for Christ in all that we do.

Time will be the cruel judge of how we it is for all of us..


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