From The Fire, A New Kind of Community”

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                        July 13, 2012



The fires here in Colorado Springs changed everything! In the midst of burned out homes, and neighborhood blocks that mysteriously now only have a third of the homes that were there a month ago, there has been the sprinklings of a new kind of community being born.

The community, however, is not new homes where charred remains lie. It’s not a new “development” with HOA fees, 30 year mortgages, and the sound of moving vans.

No…this new community is being born in the midst of newly created partnerships, shared resources, thousands and thousands of volunteers, prayer, tears, and a bonding together because of a tragedy that will, in some ways, change Colorado Springs from being a city filled with self-centered, personal agenda people to a community of people who are figuring out that the journey is to be made together.

Rich Blanchette, Annie Wamberg, and I went to the second meeting of the Waldo Canyon Long Term Recovery Group yesterday. We received an education in less than two and a half hours about disaster relief, available resources, what has been done already, but, most importantly, what is yet to be done. The “Yet To Be Done” is a long term journey that has the potential to solidify “community”.

Of course, it also has the potential to create a city of have’s and have-not’s. We are often people with limited attention spans. After the rest of the country returns to it’s routines, Colorado Springs will be dealing with clean-up, rebuilding, figuring out solutions of dilemmas that no one else cares about. What will build a city with character and caring is a citizen base that stays the course for the years that it will take to recover.

It was refreshing at yesterday’s meeting to see church representatives sitting beside denominational reps, who were sitting beside service organization people, who were sitting beside government agency reps. Catholics and Protestants working together, but also a representative from the Muslim community.

No political ads were voiced! No preference towards one denomination’s efforts! No “this is how we’re going to do it!” In fact, the sharing of past experiences from many of the participants was a guiding factor in helping this group figure out very carefully what our next step is.

On the sub-group that Rich and I are a part of called “Clean-up/Salvage/Trees/Mitigation” there are team members from Village Seven Presbyterian, First Baptist Church, Glen Eyrie (The Navigators), Mennonite Relief Effort, Salvation Army, the Director of Missions for the area Southern Baptist churches, and the two of us from Highland Park. The sharing of resources and the training of volunteers has already started. The Southern Baptist churches are sponsoring a training event in two weeks that will train volunteers in the task of “ash out” and “using a chain saw.” Other sub-groups were communicating opportunities and needs.

In essence, it demonstrated how a city can become a community. So many questions…so many situations…and we are prayerfully seeking the leading of the Holy Spirit for answers, wisdom, and new hope.

And God has prepared his church for such a time as this!

Explore posts in the same categories: Christianity, Community, Faith, Grace, Prayer, Story, Teamwork, The Church, Uncategorized

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