Church Innovations’ Partners Post

November 19, 2009

Search for Peace – Day 31 – Learning for a Lifetime

Quite a few of my blog entries during my 40-day quest for peace, abundance, shalom have been about how individuals do their work and extend the peace, even under trying circumstances. Maybe especially under trying circumstances.


But at Church Innovations, I am very interested in not just how individuals learn and work and share peace. I am interested in how congregations, whole communities, do that.  Particularly in times of pressure or change, when everyone has to learn new things in order to survive, but when they are probably all wishing the pressure would ease off and they could go back to what they remember as an easier time when they weren’t pushed so much.


As you probably know, I am a Weight Watcher member – have been three different times in my life. The first two times I lost weight and then went back to the same old same-old. I had to start all over again, usually from a worse position (read more weight), and I was definitely older and the work was harder. The third time has been different – a great leader, wonderful friends in the group, and myself committed to weekly meetings forever, just like AA or any other group that helps people learn and keep healthy habits.  And guess what? It’s working. My own long-term commitment (and the long-term support of fellow members) is making it work. It’s exactly what we say in Church Innovations’ process of Staff Covenanting – it’s accountability within a system of mercy.


If groups of people can learn things, it has to be because they’re committed to doing it and accountable for doing it. And of course there’s also no substitute for fun – you have to find some joy and laughter in it, too.  That’s how my Weight Watcher group can sustain tremendous support for healthful living.  That’s the secret to the Partnership for Missional Church, too. And in clusters that have been together a long while, they have built ongoing systems of covenant so that they continue to meet to support one another and share the joy of God’s call to them.  The long-term struggles, innovations, friendships, and peace-sharing of PMC is wonderful to behold in person.  One would be tempted to say, peeking in the window, “See how they love one another?”       Peace. Pat



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