Building Community

By: Lance King

A lifelong friend of Chestnut Grove joined us for worship recently.

Upon hearing about the various efforts our congregation is making to nurture community in Earlysville (ie. Community Worship & Picnic, Neighboring, Multi-congregational Bible study, $1 Dinner Nights, etc.), our friend mailed a word of enthusiastic applause “for your encouraging and inspiring ministries” and her gratitude for your willingness to take on such initiatives.

Her message came in a card which she says reminded her of Chestnut Grove’s natural instincts. The card offers these instructions for “How To Build Community”

Turn off your TV

Leave your house

Know your neighbors

Look up when you are walking

Greet people

Sit on your stoop

Plant flowers

Use your library

Play together

Buy from local merchants

Share what you have

Help a dog

Take children to the park

Garden together

Support neighborhood schools

Fix it even if you didn’t break it

Have pot lucks

Honor elders

Pick up litter

Read stories aloud

Dance in the street

Talk to the mail carrier

Listen to the birds

Put up a swing

Help carry something heavy

Barter for your goods

Start a tradition

Ask a question

Hire young people for odd jobs

Organize a block party

Bake extra and share

Ask for help when you need it

Open your shades

Sing together

Share your skills

Take back the night

Turn up the music

Turn down the music

Listen before your react to anger

Mediate a conflict

Seek to understand

Learn from new and uncomfortable angles

Know that no one is silent though many are not heard- work to change this.

I smiled upon recognizing that Chestnut Grovians are naturally engaged in so many of these-the instinctual behaviors of loving our neighbors- things that Jesus both did and taught in the course of everyday life.

Today, I add my applause and appreciation for sharing everyday life in this stellar community. Thank you for approaching the world in so many tangible ways that facilitate God’s kingdom come on earth as in heaven.

To learn more about Chestnut Grove, visit our website (

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