2017 Nurturing Communities Gathering

I live my life in widening circles       
That reach out across the world.  
— Rainer Maria Rilke
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We, at Genesis, love our little circle on Park Avenue, but when we can widen that circle, we find great joy in the new faces we meet.  This summer, we were honored to expand that circle a little bit more as we hosted the Nurturing Communities Gathering for the second year in a row.  Spending the weekend with old friends that we hadn't seen since the summer before, and meeting new friends, all in the name of Christian Community, we met together to share our stories and learn from one another.

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As we engaged with new friends around the bonfire, or around the table, we found ourselves fed by so much more than marshmallows or delicious brisket tacos, (which Sara lovingly spent hours preparing, and which were delicious!), in coming together we were fed by communion with one another.

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  We started off with introductions at our Saturday morning session at Luverne.

We started off with introductions at our Saturday morning session at Luverne.

We were joined this year by members from a number of communities:  Steiger House, Bruderhof, Fusion House, Elmendorf, Altona, Visitation Monastery, Inner Change, Kappa Pi Alpha, People of praise, and Post-Community House.  Each intentional community brought their interesting perspectives and ideas as we shared our thoughts on topics including welcoming the marginalized, Spirit-led decision making in community, and ecumenism in ordinary life.  

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Worship is a unifying event.  When we all turn our hearts upward to praise the One True God, we are unified, despite our differences.  Mikki, Karene & Tom from Fusion House led us in a beautiful time of worship on Saturday morning.  It was a perfect example of how individuals from separate lifestyles can come together as one, in Christ- which was just the way to start off our day.

" For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ...Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it."  1 Corinthians 12:12,27 NASB

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  The story of the prodigal son came alive as Sara shared from her heart and showed us ways in which we can apply an old story to our lives today.

The story of the prodigal son came alive as Sara shared from her heart and showed us ways in which we can apply an old story to our lives today.

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  Friday night dinner outside.  The community kids had the right idea, sitting under the patio umbrella as the sprinkling rain dampened the yard, but not our spirits!

Friday night dinner outside.  The community kids had the right idea, sitting under the patio umbrella as the sprinkling rain dampened the yard, but not our spirits!

  Some found very creative ways to escape the rain.

Some found very creative ways to escape the rain.

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As we continue to live our lives "in widening circles," here at Genesis, we have found that by reaching out to others, it is not only the world that is changed.  As we open our hearts and community to those around us, by listening to and learning from others, WE ourselves can change and grow.  That is what the Nurturing Communities Gathering is all about: coming together as brothers and sisters in Christ to connect in the unity we share, learn from one another in our differences, and in doing so - to grow.