Caring for Ourselves

We don’t claim to be a collection of perfect people.  We have our quirks, our challenges, our burdens – just like you.  What our community provides is a safe place to gather, without fear of judgment, and with the assurance that those around us will simply embrace us.

While we share a commitment to the conviction that life has meaning, and that part of what makes it meaningful lies in the impulse to make the world a better place, we acknowledge that we cannot breathe life into that impulse unless we first attend to our own needs.  It’s the same logic we use when we hope the doctor with the head cold will stay home rather than infect all her patients.  There are times when caring for ourselves is the best thing we could possibly do for others.

And so we make times to share meals together, read books together, watch movies, laugh, play, sing, go dancing, bowl, garden, go for coffee, chat on facebook.  We call it recreation … re-creation.  We make ourselves anew so we can better meet the challenges of the wider world.

Caring for Others

Caring for others?  Doesn’t it go without saying:  that’s what church is supposed to do?

Traditional church calls it “mission” and the United Church of Canada still has a “Mission and Service Fund.”  But the church’s “mission” has a checkered history.  It has come to be associated with dirty words, like proselytism, colonialism,  empire, paternalism, conversion, crusade.

In fact, more than ten years ago, former United Church of Canada moderator, Bill Phipps, announced that the national church was intentionally rejecting proselytism.  In a moment of honesty, we acknowledged that it does more harm than good to persuade people that we have a better way of doing things.  The claim just doesn’t stand up.

So how can we help to make the world a better place without falling into the mission trap that snared our predecessors?

It begins by rejigging how we think about the “other.”  So long as we preoccupied ourselves with persuading, we held ourselves over and against those who had to suffer our good intentions.  It’s time to think of ourselves as standing shoulder-to-shoulder with equal partners in the pursuit of common goals.  It means that we have to be constantly vigilant of our motives.  It also means that we have to do far more listening.

For opportunities that offer caring for self and others, take a look at our Connect tab and check out our event calendar.