What does it take to develop as a community? According to the standards set this last week, community requires physical exertion, deep and generative conversations, and fellowship in the kitchen. It is always a little fascinating to see how diversity can function in unity. We have diverse talents, and collectively we are able to perform feats from constructing a log-bridge on the beach to identifying a whole array of native vegetation. In conversation, overlap in convictions has forged solid bonds of trust and mutual confidence. In practice, our diverse knowledge and skill sets afford us a variety of ways to teach children. And, truth be told, a passion for children constitutes the explicit centre of our unity.
Despite all these elements, the test of true unity requires a certain level of adversity. It is in listening to one another in love that we can continue to cultivate unity. We have had opportunity to do so a little during the Staff Retreat, and so I am confident that this group will pursue the kind of health necessary to serve the community, to serve children. In love we will grow together, and in generosity we will learn to harvest the fruits of our labour. In God's grace we can demonstrate this love for the children and thereby serve God's purposes. It is the unity we find in Christ's body that forges the surest bond, and as we pursue the vision laid out in 1 Corinthians 12 and 13, it is my hope that we will discover the clearest unity through our service and hospitality. We hope to serve in ways that afford reconciliation with various communities, to learn from each region, and to grow in appreciation of the diversity that already circumvents Vancouver Island. Forgiveness and love cover over a multitude of sins, and we hope to embody this possibility in ourselves as we enter into the communities.