Community of faith. When I hear this expression I wonder how many in our individualistic society really have any idea what it means. I do. I was blessed to be part of one — Lutheran Campus Ministry at Kansas State University in Manhattan.
I was a sophomore, and I was searching. When a friend invited me to go with her, I did. First for worship and later for the weekly meals. A warm welcome, the good food and talking about issues that mattered — all made me want to come back. I became a part of this community of faith. And in it I later discerned a call to become a pastor.
This community is where our pastor encouraged our questions, accepted us for who we were and taught us to tell our stories. We created our community as we worked and worried together, played and prayed together. Preparing meals and sharing dismay over the world's problems. Hiking, broomball, canoeing and doing Bible study, singing, praising. And laughing! All filled with holy moments.
Each time I return to that Lutheran campus ministry — though many of the faces are new — I sense that I'm a part of that community of faith. I feel their support and the rejoicing in my ministry, living the call now that I heard first there.
What of today's children, my own in years to come and those in our churches and neighborhoods? I want there to be a community of faith for each of them as they leave home and grow into adulthood. No, we can't teach them what "community of faith" means or why it's life-giving. But we can support such communities and give them opportunities to grow. Then trust God to do the rest.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers