We Are an Imperfect Human Community

“The individual whose commitment to the community is based on a sense that these community members are somehow special human beings, who have the right concerns and values and live the right lives, will find great difficulty when members of the community fail to live up to these standards and expectations. Being human, we all fail repeatedly to live up to our own standards and expectations, and are bound to disappoint other people’s on occasion. […]

In contrast, the individual whose commitment is based on an acceptance of a covenant relationship with God has a different reaction to these inevitable pains and disappointments. The covenant relationship says that we are given in relationship to each other precisely in order to help one another through these painful times, into a fuller relationship with God and one another. […] Our individual sins and failures become opportunities for the community to practice true loving forgiveness, to offer spiritual counsel and guidance, and to offer spiritual and emotional healing.”

— Lloyd Lee Wilson, 2001
Essays on the Quaker Vision of Gospel Order

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Consider the barriers you may have erected that keep out true community. Think of a safe person to share a vulnerability with today, large or small.

When conflict arises in your community, how do you respond?

If God is in every person, how does that inform your approach to conflict? When have you had a conflict that resulted in deeper trust and connection?