Does true community exist in today’s world? Community is defined as the common feeling of fellowship, sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. Sometimes commonality can be diminished by a negative environment. All we have to do is turn on the news and witness the reflection of division. Sadly, we don’t need television to feel disconnected. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to feelings of isolation. If you’ve felt disconnected, don’t fret, you’re not alone. Feeling isolated is the perfect moment to reflect on our blessings. Community is one of those blessings. It can bring light and transform a negative environment into a positive one.
In November, the United States celebrates Thanksgiving. This time of coming together is one of the most traveled holidays during the year. I’m sure COVID-19 has many of us reconsidering the tradition of coming together with family and friends. I, for one, have been trying to establish a socially distant Thanksgiving plan. I haven’t come up with one yet. Nevertheless, I reflect on how churches have impacted our community amid the pandemic. KCC has been a constant source of connection.
When COVID-19 slipped into the atmosphere, our senior pastor, Bishop Rosie S. O’neal, was in the middle of facilitating a prayer and fast campaign. The teachings were perfectly on time. God knew the tremendous impact this virus would have. He already had a plan in place. Our church community provided a consistent, safe course of comfort, food drives, and online connection through worship and meetings.
The great thing about community is it serves as a two-way connector. We can connect by receiving as well as giving. Some of us may have been on the receiving end, while others are on the giving end.
Giving is a great way to alleviate isolation. When we give, we become active in building strong relationships. My husband and I committed to doing something in our community. Sometimes we connect by financial giving. We do not have much to give. We give what we can.
Donating time is another way to give. I’ve committed to facilitating an online book club for children. I love listening to the children discuss their thoughts. They are learning their words matter — they matter. They read stories about others and develop empathy. Their empathy builds a desire and guides them to become positive citizens in their community. They are becoming citizens that give; citizens that connect; citizens that shape their community.
Does community exist? My reflection has led me to answer ‘yes.’ Whether we’re on the giving or the receiving end of community, we’re creating an environment where God’s light and love are shown.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (ESV)
Contributor: A. Dorcent