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Sunday, September 17, 2017

A community that cares


Chris Ney -
I have started this article now seven times and tried to find the words for how I have been feeling through all of the last couple week’s events. Many times I have written down things and then just deleted them, as they’re really are few words that I can find to explain it. My family and I are new to this community and along the way, as we have been getting to know the community and the history and the culture here, I have been a part of really good things and I have messed some things up. One of the things I have been amazed at is that when times get tough this community bonds together tighter than any other I have ever been a part of.  As we have gone through major events I haven’t seen people tearing each other apart, instead I have seen people step up and offer anything that was needed to help their neighbor. It has shown me that there is something a whole lot deeper here than just people co-habituating.  There's a real family here. I have experienced this over the summer with our church family, but now I have experienced it first hand as a whole and I am quite overwhelmed at it all.

We signed up to help as a church to see what we could do and through that I have seen hurt, pain suffering, and loss in the eyes of many I have met. The idea of not knowing what tomorrow brings causes us all to sit for a minute and wonder what matters. Through the actions of everyone I have met it was demonstrated what really matters - each other. That is awesome and that is a community that I am so very proud to be a part of even as a new-comer. Paul wrote to the people of Colossal many years ago while he was in jail that he was excited because he had heard while in jail about how they loved one another.   That is the same here. The lives that have been changed and impacted will be changed forever but the biggest take-away is that the story of one community coming together and demonstrating a real sacrificial love for one another is incredible. This is contagious and has to be a huge part of the story for us all going forward.

I know we are not out of the woods yet, and even when we are it will be time to roll up our sleeves and be hands to help with fencing, herding animals, and a part of rebuilding what has been lost. My commitment is that we are here beyond being just a church service on Sunday. Vertical Church has been planted here to serve this community and to be a part of a larger family. Its time to be the church instead of just trying to do church. Our prayers are for healing, for fires to be stopped, and for a season to rebuild what was lost. If you are reading this and you have any kind of need, email us or call us, we are here to help, from food and clothes to fencing and wrangling. Whatever the need, big or small, you have accepted us as part of your family and we are excited to be a part of it and look forward to working alongside anyone who needs a hand. We don’t just put 'you are loved' at the end of these columns for nothing. You truly are loved and I pray that these will be examples for other communities, and that people will hear about this family all over the place.

We love this community, and know you are loved,

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