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So why do we call it a Village?

We have called ourselves various things over the years, knowing that the word “church” carries some baggage, but also that we mean something more by it. 

For a while we called our Sunday gatherings a “Watering Hole”… I had found a picture and read a description of a watering hole in the sub-Saharan plains. Each day, under the cool of sunrise or sunset all the animals came. Animals who would normally fear each other, carnivores and herbivores, animals in packs and solitary hunters would come to the water’s edge and exist together for a moment of peace while they were refreshed and cleaned. 

For a while this spoke to us of the place where all could come and find water for the soul. 

The picture was true, but it did not speak well of the family nature of the church, or the active role which each member plays, or our reliance on one another. 

We have spoken of ourselves as a garden (where we hoped a myriad of forms of life and beauty would flourish in good spoil)…and of course we have linked into the analogies Paul gives us in the Bible of a body and a family. 

All of these are true and helpful. Each helps us to understand different aspects of Church. But the Village speaks in other ways too. 

Of course it begins with the proverb that “it takes a village to raise a child”… of course it does. It is far too big a task to be left to any individual and the world is such a rich and colorful place that any child would benefit hugely from a variety of experiences, views, voices etc. 

The same is true here. It takes a village to raise a disciple.

This means that my role within the village is to offer my voice, gifts and abilities to help others. It is also true though that I benefit by remaining open to the wisdom, insight and difference of others in the Village. 

Within a village historically there has been safety and protection, there has been familiarity and provision. The village elders shared hard won wisdom, the village walls defended against attack, the village green hosted games and celebrations, the village swung in to support one another by fixing leaky roofs and cooking meals for those who needed support. 

It is also a PLACE…and this is complex in a world which thinks homes are houses. But what a joyful thing to build: a community of people, in the midst of whom…wherever they are and wherever they gather HOME is experienced. 

That through seasons of harvest, drought, sowing and celebration, you find yourself known and loved, valued and of value. 

This begins to describe what we mean by “Village”