Working together = Growing together

What a fantastic time we shared together on Sunday.  From welcoming home our missions team from Guatemala, to the Fall Kick-Off BBQ, and everything in between.  There was an excitement in the air, did you feel it?  The new beginnings that the fall so often brings.  Like a New Year, the fall brings new opportunities and new hopes.  For me it brings renewed resolve.  

As you may know, over the past few years I have been working on my doctorate.  I am at the "thesis proposal" stage, which just means I still have much to do before anyone can call me Dr. Mona!  But I am excited about this new stage in the process.

The first part of the doctoral program consisted of structured course work with my program colleagues.  It also required us, for the first three years, to gather together for a two week residential in June at the University of Toronto campus.  My program colleagues gathered from all over the world, many from the US, one from Venezuela, another from Hong Kong, and yet another from El Salvador.  There were a few Canadians in the mix for good measure :)   Our time together at the residential was a fantastic time of learning, sharing, and a lot of laughing. It was incredible to see how strong the connections between us became as we shared experiences and learned together.  The result is that even though we may live thousands of kilometres from each other, we are still very close.  This week one of my school buddies is coming in to Toronto to visit and I can’t wait to see her and catch up. 

Have you noticed in your own life how true bonds of relationship form when you work together on something?  Maybe a project, or a common goal? This is so true in our faith journey as well.  We can sit beside the same person week after week at church on Sunday morning, yet we don’t start to build relationships with them until we work together on something.  Maybe in a ministry, like KidsZone or a building project, or a mission trip, or a maybe it’s being involved in the same small group studying God’s word together.

When we work with each other, it is then that we have the opportunity to learn from each other and support one another. That’s when life change happens.  That’s when our faith journeys intersect and we begin to grow. The world we live in today strongly promotes independence, and yet all the Biblical communities supported togetherness.  Of course we need to take responsibility for our own faith, but it’s also imperative for us to build relationships and form bonds with others so that we can grow together as God intended.