25 February 2009
community as defined by the number of steps you're allowed
What if you could only go to church somewhere within walking distance? What if you had a certain number of steps on the Sabbath - no driving, no bicycles?
Where would you go?
And what would your community look like once you got there? Would you know your neighbors? Would you be "living life" with them more fully?
Our 77 year-old old house is probably 45 steps from an 80 year-old old church. And I would love (LOVE) to go to church there. I would love to walk to church with my neighbors and have lunch after at one of our houses. I would love to have a vested interest in the building in the neighborhood and a greater impetus to know the people around me.
And yet I've never stepped foot in the doors. Never even really considered it. I like the teaching of the church we attend, even though it is 10 miles away. I love our church's push towards getting out and doing faith. I love our community there and the relationships we have. And yet, what if we could have those things in a (much more) local body? But what if we had no choice?
What if like-minded people, rather than congregating together as one massive organism, disbanded and infiltrated dozens (or hundreds) of smaller organisms. Would the potential for change be greater?
I would love to hear from an orthodox Jew on the subject. What are the pros and cons of a system that, in some way, forces community based on regional factors?
Where would you go? Do a Google search on churches near your address and see. I would be interested to know where we would be scattered.