Skip to main content

Defining Community

Following last night's celebration of the last night of Hanukkah, I am struck afresh with my ongoing struggle to define community.

Here's the issue; our congregation is rare. Does that sound arrogant? I certainly don't mean it to, but it is a fact that we have had many visitors tell us this very thing upon spending time with us. We have people contact us from around the country, and the world even, wanting to know about us and desiring to visit. It never fails to amaze me. But, what is that special element that makes us different from other congregations?

As I was interacting with everyone last night, I tried to step aside and just observe. I know how I feel, personally, when I walk through our congregation...this is my family, my people. I know them all and they know me. I know their loves and fears, weaknesses and talents, just as much as they know mine. Their expressions and body movements are so familiar and comfortable...I feel safe. We have vehemently agreed in unison when an outsider suggests something that departs from our doctrine and we have hotly debated each other with a passion that reveals the love we have for one another. I know that you can't find that just anywhere, to be honest.

We are a family, too. The children are adored and cared for by everyone; we know them and expect the best from them, as they are our future. We have beloved sisters and brothers that we confide our deepest secrets and fears to, the parents and elders that we look up to for advice and guidance, the silly aunts and uncles that are so endearing and special, and the nieces and nephews that add the spark of youth to us all.

We have shared history; weddings and funerals, laughing 'til we cry and deep sorrow that cuts to the core. We have sweat dancing to exhaustion and repeatedly sang the songs of praise with meaning and intention. We have shared time together, table together and celebrated deeply meaningful festivals together. We have studied - oh man, have we studied together. We have shared the same trepidation of the future while affirming steadfastness to our beliefs. Yeah, we have a history that is like a ghost that appears when we congregate, somehow invisibly binding us together.

Oh sure, we have our faults...but perhaps what sets this community apart is how we handle these issues. When things get emotional, as they sometimes do, I remind myself of what we have, and the fact that none of us are going anywhere. We all know that what we have is special and a gift...honestly, there is no where else for us to go.

I am truly blessed, privileged, fortunate and honored to be a part of this family of believers. It far exceeds the norm, in my view. So, did I manage to define community? Nah...I think it defies definition. That's alright though, as is true with our congregation; it changes and evolves, adapts and reforms itself to the will of our Master. And, that's all good with me.


Popular posts from this blog

Our History with Saber Forge

UPDATE, April 19, 2012: we purchased new sabers from Ultra Saber LLC. To see a review, go HERE.
* * *
Saber Forge's Ambassador saber hilt
This post is to document and record the history of our experience with a company called Saber Forge. I would like this information to serve as information and perhaps a warning to all that are interested in purchasing a machined lightsaber, and/or are considering Saber Forge.

Saber Forge makes and sells lightsabers to be used as props with Star Wars costumes. When we started looking to purchase lightsabers that had the ability to light, Lisa posted for information on the Rebel Legion website. She was contacted by Mr. Phil Isherwood, owner of SaberForge.

Saber Forge

It is most unfortunate that we have had problems with the sabers. I love the hilt, to be honest, and felt that we got what we paid for; however, the lingering problems and now the complete lack of customer service is most troubling.

[We were so excited about purchasing these blades…

Just Throwin' It Around

I have a friend who just got engaged to be married. As he was detailing the way he proposed to his beloved, something he said caught my attention. In the course of his adult life, dating and living, he had promised himself that he would only use the actual word love towards the one who he was going to marry. He further explained that it was his thought that people 'throw the word love around carelessly' and that it had a special meaning, one meaning. For him, it was only to be used in speaking to his soon-to-be wife.

I can see his point, especially when thinking about dating. I know it happens, all too often, that relationships proceed a little too quickly and emotions peak prompting hasty pronouncements of love and devotion only to be rescinded down the line, after the passion has worn off. Careful and introspective we must be when experiencing and building a new relationship that we don't bite off more than we can chew, so to speak. I agree with my engaged friend - w…


I am a maker and collecter of Artist Trading Cards. In my world, we call them "Letterboxer Trading Cards", because they are made by letterboxers and they must have a hand-carved stamp featured on the card. I have made hundreds, even thousands of these cards, and enjoy the hobby immensely (samples shown are a few of my cards). I also collect them from other artists and letterboxers, and have a collection numbering (also) in the thousands.

So, here's the confession: I HATE LOGGING THEM! Yes, that's right, I said 'hate'. I know, that's pretty strong, but it is the only way I can adequately describe the feeling of dread that comes over me the second after I enjoy receiving them in the mail. If I were a disciplined person, I would immediately make my way to the computer, sign into to my favorite letterboxing site and let these wonderful friends know how much I love their efforts, thus easing their minds that their hard work arrived safe and sound in my care. Bu…