by Jayvon Johnson, Staff Writer

Community as defined by Webster’s Dictionary is “an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location.” The topic of conversation for the past weeks external and internal to the divinity school has been the significance and importance of community. The political atmosphere is calling for presidential candidates of both parties to consider their constituents and how to best assist their needs. Our campus and program in particular is pushing us towards understanding each other and taking into account what is required to best mesh well together. How do we reach this homeostasis, where regardless of who we are or where we come from, we can still function together under one roof?

This may be a question that neither one of us will be able to answer at this point, or even beyond our acceptance of this fine degree which we work so hard to obtain. This is a complex issue that grows more and more interesting as an influx of new individuals with new beliefs, thoughts, cultures and theology enter in. “Community also functions as humanity’s home. We are created for community. We are born into community (i.e., the family) and depend upon it for survival…so many breakdowns in relationships among human’s result from the urge to dominate others” (Thurman, The Hunger for Community, 89). Every community we are apart should be an incubator for humanity’s well being. Communities are created of people. These people in turn are authors, artist, and helpers of understanding life.

We are carpenters to this home of life. As ministers we have been given the blueprint to create a new way of doing community, a way to construct a space that is welcoming to all who desire to be apart. Let us consider our significant contributions to our communities. Let’s be intentional when we enter spaces as we explore the calling on our lives. Consider who you speak to and how you speak to them. Your words may be mortar or a sledge hammer depending on how you decide to use them. Take part in building a home that is welcome to conversations that will stretch your comfort and advance your outreach.