Creating Care Together

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This past Thursday we had our annual “Good Neighbor Breakfast,” and it was great—even if I do say so myself! It was held at the Dining Room at First Baptist Church in downtown Abilene, and we had around 200 or so people in attendance [“preacher count”].

            Thanks to our walking idea machine, Janet Mendenhall, this year’s theme was “Creating Care Together.” One of the things that we all have in common is that we are born to be creators; we are created in the image of God who is THE creator. The gift to be able to create is a God-given character trait. We are all artists! And one of the greatest masterpieces that we all get to work on is care. Borrowing words from Janet and David’s introductory dialogue to begin our breakfast:

Our first pass at the theme for our breakfast was simply, “Creating Care.” But then we quickly remembered one of the mainstays of our work—collaboration, and the theme expanded to its more meaningful and accurate statement: Creating Care Together.

            Our world is fractured and broken. Never before have we seen such polarization, isolation, and fear, or disregard for the “other.” It is killing us. Literally. Research suggests more people than ever are experiencing loneliness, and further research has shown it can have some pretty adverse effects on our health. It is astounding really when you consider that the one resource we have in abundance—people. This time there is no excuse, right?

            The resources are readily available.

            And they are you and me. Us. Join us as we create a culture of care right here in Abilene.

            To care for others is living into and out of the love of God for each of us. When we love our neighbors we are loving people who are already loved by God! “For God so loved the world…” As Frederick Buechner says,

If we are to love our neighbors, before doing anything else we must see our neighbors. With our imagination as well as our eyes, that is to say like an artist, we must see not just their faces but the life behind and within their faces. Here it is love that is the frame we see them in.

            The answer to the dysfunction and disconnection that is seemingly endemic to our culture these days is caring. We must understand that our world is a mess badly in need of rehab, and we are to be active agents in this rehabilitation project. It is not about knowing enough; it is about loving God by loving people. “Your kingdom come, your will be done on this earth as it is in heaven…”

            The two Community Coordinators at CCC, Janet, and David, are artists living out a beautiful picture of love incarnated in the College Heights neighborhood. They are investing their time to revitalize a neighborhood by inviting others to the table, sharing stories, laughing and recognizing the human need for significant relationships. We’re better together!

 

Special thanks to:

  • Susan Fikes, Janet Mendenhall, and David Adams—the wonderful staff of CCC.

  • Doug Mendenhall, Ashley Adams, and Becki Cagle—the spouses who live and love others right beside Janet, David and Terry.

  • First Baptist Church—for hosting our breakfast! Special thanks to Melinda Norris and John Moore.

  • Amanda Joys’ Catering for the breakfast!

  • Jonathan Carroll and Heather Henderson for all the beautiful artwork.

  • Chris and Trina Martin for the wonderful video.

  • Southwest Direct for printing our program.

  • The Board of Directors for CCC—thanks for being awesome!

  • All our supporters who believe in loving God by loving neighbors and neighborhoods.

  • God who calls us all beloved.