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A journey toward empowerment #02_8-31-17

Not long after that first missionary adventure, I read where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said,

“All I'm saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow, we're caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”

The more I thought about the words of Dr. King, the more I was captured by the centrality of this truth. I determined to seek ways to empower the marginalized to form networks (communities) that foster development which would benefit more people. It was then that I coined the phrase, "what is good for everyone, is good for everyone."

This also led me to become fixated on the idea of "community." It conveys the ideas of "fellowship, union, common ownership, companionship, a shared experience." In the Bible, it is the term "Kingdom" that best conveys that which is held in common with the distinction that the values of God are what hold a particular community in comparison to others. There are all kinds of communities, but the biblical model is one that is held in common under an ethical code that in its simplest form can be said to be, what is fair for me is fair for another. We can say it even more simply, be honest.

There are so many areas of disagreement, on so many issues, I think the core issues get overshadowed by the nonessentials. The condition of people is what God responded to with the birth of Christ and the very existence of the scriptures. When angels rejoiced to the degree that the glory of their joy broke through the darkness, cannot be taken lightly. I don't really want to this blog become an ongoing sermon. But there are biblical underpinnings for much of what I will present over time. That being said, the core of my contention is captured by Dr. Kings quote. We are all interrelated, whether we like it or not. So, what we do to each other will eventually affect us all.

Without beating the drum for an insulated 'Christian' fellowship, I would dare say that God ultimately wants all people to recognize that we make up one community. We just refuse to accept it, so we continue to create fractures, distinctions, divisions in order to maintain "our," whatever. The path to resolution to most of our conflicts is to appreciate that we are all basically alike. If you are a person with a family of five with two adults and three children, you have the same problems and concerns as any other of similar arrangement. Whether you are in Borneo, New York, Mexico or Kenya. Differences become cosmetic. We all want to live in peace, feed out families, help the hurting and protect what can be easily damaged.

As a ministry/service and all that we set out to do under the banner of Community Life International Mission Agency (CLIMA) and Community Resource Alliance (CRAi), the outcome is to enhance the communal experience. CLIMA (klee-ma) is the nonprofit that acts like a seed of hope that seeks opportunity to serve wherever it falls and CRAi is the for-profit side that supplies the professional resources to help hope happen.

CRAi - who, what and why are we here?

CRAi is a faith based for-profit consulting organization that cultivates community development through creative collaboration.

Our Mission: Is to positively impact the experience of community.

Our Vision: Our vision is to expand the borders of inclusivity and find ways for communities to thrive through cooperation rather than competition.

Our Values: Our values are rooted in the biblical model of community as God's Kingdom.

Our Approach: Luke 24 (the whole chapter) is our approach to the facilitation of that communal experience. We believe that we can enter the existential experience of those we work with and find ways to bridge gaps that lead to positive development.

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