Mary K. sent this:
Community is costly. It is demanding. We realize that when there is pain in the family. We realize community is difficult to live when the church splits. When divorce happens. When children leave and never return home. But the power of community, the reason to risk being in community with one another, is that it allows you to do more than you alone would ever be able to, because you are a part of a group with the same intention. Community allows us to live out the commandment to love and be loved.
The following passage is from Howard Thurman in Meditations of the Heart. P.112. Dr. Thurman died in 1985. He was a visionary and a mystic, a pastor and a teacher. He brought people together.
"The power—there are many secondary sources for the power which is of God. There is the power that comes from the challenge of a great need, deeply felt, in the life of others. There is a kind of tyranny that human need is capable of exercising upon us once we are brought into direct contact with it. In the presence of its imperious demand we are apt to forget our own limitations, our own inadequacies, even our own needs.
This is one of the reasons why we tend to reduce our direct exposures to the needs of our community. We know that it will take us out of ourselves, out of our complacency and put our resources and ourselves completely at their disposal. "The note of service must be deepened and in our care for those who lie wounded or broken along the road, we shall forget our own wounds and our own wearinesses." The need itself seems to create a vacuum pulling into it with utter ruthlessness that which is capable of ministering to it. After that kind of experiencing, we are willing to do in behalf of others what we were incapable of doing without such a challenge. Once the energy has been released, we become something more than we were before. A plus is added to ourselves. And into this added something, we ourselves have entered. We become, in deeds, the power."