We Didn’t Start the Fire

Renewing the Heart of The Community

We Didn’t Start the Fire:  What Billy Joel Fans and Ada Residents Have in Common 

by Kendra Kuo, Strategic Advisory Board Member

This last weekend my husband and I celebrated our 17th anniversary at a Billy Joel concert at Wrigley Field.  It was the perfect Midwest evening – 75 degrees with a gentle breeze.  As we waited for the performance to begin, the sun set on the famous ivy covered outfield brick walls.  Then, as the stars in the sky started to emerge, Billy Joel’s piano rotated on stage.  The concert was amazing, with over 40,000 fans living out his beloved lyrics “to forget about life for awhile”.

FullSizeRenderOn the drive home, I got to thinking about what a unique experience any live concert is. For a couple of hours, you become united with a group of strangers over a common love of music.  I then thought about the other groups that I’m a part of, like my work, my neighborhood, my sons’ schools, or even the favorite of soccer moms nationwide – Target.  As I reflected on this, my attention turned to another group; our church family at The Community. 

In all groups, there are some pretty common threads despite their differences.  With my church family, I see the people who have helped me to grow my faith and raise my sons.  These brothers and sisters have shared communion bread, Easter eggs, chili and beer… maybe not all at one sitting!  We also support each other as best we can in times of sickness, doubt and grief.  I see genuine people who care for the under-served, who inspire me to be more.  That’s the great thing about living in a community – you discover a little piece of yourself that you didn’t even know was missing.  No one person is perfect, but collectively, you become stronger. 

As we’ve watched our church neighborhood change with new traffic patterns and buildings, we’ve witnessed an event that will not likely occur again in our lifetimes.  All of this external change in Ada Township is intersecting with the internal change we’ve been going through at The Community for more than a decade; to be more outwardly-focused in our ministry.  It is providing us with some new opportunities and perhaps some anxieties that we haven’t begun to understand.

Here’s what we do know: The Community church leadership is currently in the information gathering stage.  This week you will receive a survey asking about ways to reimagine our church. It’s really important everyone’s voice is heard, so please complete this survey. We’re meeting with several people both from the congregation and the Village, to further engage in dialogue. As part of this process, we are also meeting with three developers to get their ideas of how we could move forward. To date, they have shared some exciting ideas, but still, all options are on the table. As you can imagine, we have a challenging task of determining a collective direction for The Community, so we want to know your individual thoughts on questions like:


– How might we live out our mission of seeking justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God (Micah 6:8) through this possible redevelopment of our land? 
– What creative changes could we make to our building that would eliminate barriers for people to experience God?  
– What partners could we connect with to better serve the needs of our growing downtown area and create sustainable income for our ministry? 
– How can walk humbly together, not necessarily in uniform, but united in love?

No, “we didn’t start the fire”. The ways of the world, the evil that the musician sings of, or the peace that Christ brings certainly surpasses my understanding.  But I do know that when I experience glimpses of God’s love through the people at The Community, I want to do my part to share more of this love with the greater community and with future generations. 

Christian writer, Rachel Held Evans, said in her blog, “the great irony, of course, is that community thrives on imperfection.  Where one person is weak, another is strong. When one person falls, another is there to help. When one person cooks, another can clean, another can teach, and another can lead. Where one sees the forest, the other sees trees. We need community precisely because we are imperfect, and if we wait until we are perfect to embrace community, it will never happen.”

This opportunity has been placed in front of us, let’s work and pray together to make something special happen for God’s glory.

 

Peace and Love,

Kendra Kuo

Strategic Advisory Board Member

 

  • Sunday Schedule

    10:00 am – Service
    Nursery - infants through age 3

    Partway through Service - Children’s Worship: Ages 4-10

    After Service – Cookies and Coffee Social Gathering