Our Vision for Beloved Community
March 10, 2021
When Jesus taught his students to pray, one of the phrases he encouraged was to pray to God: your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. When Jesus taught about God’s ways being done on earth, he usually called it the Kingdom of God. In Jesus’ Kingdom of God teaching, we get pictures of dynamic and radical faith, hope, and love expressed in private and public life. Cuban-American theologian Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz encouraged the word kindom instead of kingdom for our era, since God’s will on earth looks more like a healthy extended family than a patriarchal power system. But maybe the clearest and most compelling language for this vision came from the American Civil Rights leaders of the 50s and 60s, Dr. King included. They called it Beloved Community.
Beloved Community is about inclusiveness and belonging, socially, economically, and spiritually. It is a vision of community that can be as small as a household or as large as the whole earth. Regardless of size, it’s community of opportunity, justice, and the giving and receiving of love. Participation in communities of love, respect, and belonging buoys our spirits and helps us love and be loved well. And it helps us live freer, healthier, happier lives in all aspects of our being.
Reservoir’s vision for 2020-2025 is to continue to become the Beloved Community that we are called to be. Last fall, through scripture and story and public art, in our Sunday services and community groups and our “Do-It-Yourself” retreat, we began to examine this theme. We think there is still so much for us to learn and practice and grow into together.
We are delighted to share this vision as a community and look forward to continuing to live and tell stories of Beloved Community in and around Reservoir not just this year, but for several years to come.
Reservoir will continue to become the Beloved Community we are called to be, one that is:
- Diverse and anti-racist.
- Welcoming, and a place of profound belonging.
- Radically generous.
- Empowering wholeness, love, and justice in people and communities, promoting whole life flourishing.
- Innovating as a church in a post-Christian world, so that our ministry is less dependent on any one gathering but includes many life-giving new ways to experience and be church.
We’ll keep sharing stories of God’s inspiration for this vision and of places and people where we see it happening. Please share the stories you live and see and long to see as well.
This week in our Lenten focus on What is Most Important, we read Micah’s vision of Beloved Community. Micah tells us that God’s Spirit is moving to empower us to walk with God; to live in peace and wholeness with one another; to gather in joyful, inclusive communities of profound belonging; to see victims become survivors; to ensure the safety and security of all people in their own skin and homes and communities; to transform all our ways into violence into those of peace. There are so many ways for us to welcome this move of the Spirit, so many ways to love and grow and become.
May it be, beloved friends. May it be.