We just got back from a church/community/tribe's weekend away. We went down to Ashburnham near Hastings and Battle.
When I was a much younger christian, church weekends were stuffed full of bible studies, prayer meetings, worship, teaching, from start to finish. In contrast to those memories we planned this event very differently, in that we had meals, walks, food, music, quiz nights, wine, cricket, meditation and a reflection room, i.e space and places to spend time together being together. Lots of laughter, lots of sharing, lots of crying.
In the midst of that we had only two short gatherings. One with Conrad Gempf, reading two bible stories to us (I will post more about those, and how wonderful they were later this week), and a Sunday morning time together for communion.
Before we went away, I suggested to our church family that one of the greatest gifts we can give each other in a consumer society is our time, and presence. A weekend of gifting our time to each other, culminated in a time together for worship and communion, that was so warm and precious, because it was the expression of our previous time together.
Community, takes time, proximity, interaction, and above all the cost of giving our time to others.