This week cheer on Diverse United with Phil Stone the Director of the Scargill Movement as he talks about how through community we can overcome insular boundaries and open ourselves and others to the love of God.
At Scargill we are about lives shared – lives transformed with Jesus hopefully right at the centre of everything. Within our community I feel there is both a high degree of unity and a wonderful diversity that needs to be celebrated. Our youngest community member is 10 and our eldest is 70. We have members from Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Nepal, Brazil, Germany and Scotland, we have someone who is about to arrive from Latvia as well as locals from Halifax and Bradford. As well as being an amazingly international group of men and women of all ages we are diverse in our understanding and experience of God within the Christian faith. We are truly ecumenical, representing many different strands of tradition. It is an incredibly diverse bunch of people all somehow bundled together to share God’s hospitality to those who come through our doors.
One of our challenges is to celebrate the diversity of one another which means learning, listening, sharing, and sometimes going beyond our own boundaries, which can be uncomfortable. It is when we mix with the ‘other’ with a heart of hospitality that we can truly begin to see our lives transformed. This is always a challenge for any community because when tired we often gather around those who we feel comfortable with, speak the same language as, who share the same food, and who tell the same jokes. At Scargill there is such a wealth and richness in our community which we could miss out on if we keep our relationships within those we feel ‘comfortable with’.
Daniel Homan and Lonni Collins Pratt in their book Radical Hospitality, Benedict’s Way of Love say this, ‘As a spiritual discipline, Benedict understood the importance of encountering those who are different to ourselves as it stretches us; it dislocates stiffness and opens us up to new possibilities. He meant for the monks to do so intentionally.’
Is not God’s Kingdom the invitation to grow and be transformed by God’s love? One way we can do this is celebrating our diversity in the unity that we share in the love of Jesus.
If you are interested in finding out more about getting involved in community life click here to see a list of current vacancies. In addition we are looking for people with backgrounds in administration or maintenance to join the team. If this sounds like you then don’t hesitate to get in touch.