Christine's Corner: Community: We all need it!
This past Sunday I preached on the idea of new life found in the resurrection and how this informs and guides us as a communal people. For adults, we get to decide what communities we are part of; the ones we want to enter and the ones we chose to leave, and how we interact in these communities.
But for children, finding community looks a little different. They rely on the adults in their lives to help them first, understand what community is and then second, help them explore what communities of which to be a part. And many times, this can be an exhausting task as we ourselves struggle to find the communities that are right for us. So this will require some intentionality on our part as parents and caregivers as we help them navigate their interests, passions, and desires. We must help them find their people.
There are so many different communities for us to introduce our children to-school communities, extracurricular communities, non profit communities, and faith communities. How do we know where to start? Here are a few steps to help with that:
1. Ask your child what they are interested in. This could be a hobby, such as sports or something artistic, or a passion they have, like animals or human rights. Write down everything that comes to mind. Leave nothing off the list.
2. Narrow down the list to two or three things that the child would be interested in pursuing at that time. By doing this, you are not saying to the child that the others are not valid. You just need an attainable list that you can then look into more thoroughly. This will also help you not over schedule yourself and your child, as this is easy to do.
3. Begin to research groups in your area that focus on these hobbies or passions. Look on local Facebook pages, local websites, or even ask friends and family for suggestions. Get the contact information for each group and begin to delve more into the organization or community itself.
4. Right now, a number of communities may not be meeting in person, but they may be meeting virtually. Find out which groups are meeting and how and join a meeting with your child as an introduction session for the both of you. This will help you decide which community is right for your child.
5. Once you have done the research, visited the organization or community, and find the right fit for your child, make sure to be invested in that community. The only way to truly be a part of a community is to be in relationship with others that have the same passions as you and to be an active participant in all the events and meetings that the community holds.
In a year that has seen so many changes, the one thing that has not changed is that we are a people who were made to be a part of something greater than ourselves. We must allow our children the opportunity to explore and find out what true community is. It is crucial for them to know how important it is for them to contribute to the greater good, whatever that may be. And I encourage you as well, to help them find their place, their community, here at Augusta Heights Baptist church, a community who loves, supports, challenges and accepts all, especially children!