Spend more time fostering community

Dan Page, Lay Pastor - Pleasant Green United Methodist Church

“The community of believers was one in heart and mind. None of them would say ‘This is mine!’ about any of their possessions, but held everything in common.” Acts 4:32.

I had the opportunity to talk with an old friend last week. We talked about our fathers, who were also friends. They were also both farmers. We agreed that we were fortunate to grow up when and where we did.

Speaking about farm work in mid-August, the subject of filling silo came up. Back in the 1960s, most cattle farmers in this area chopped corn to make silage. The chopped corn was put in silos, upright or trench, where it fermented. The silage became the winter diet for dairy and beef cattle.

The process of chopping tons of corn, hauling it from the field to the silo, took lots of help. Often, several farmers purchased the corn chopper together. They would then take turns in filling their silos. Families and neighbors worked together during silo-filling time. It was a busy time for the wives, also. They made meals for the large crews of hungry men and boys, a dinner around noon and then a lunch later in the afternoon. Usually the work day lasted until dark.

It was truly a community effort. Looking back, the cooperation was pretty amazing. My friend and I agreed, we never heard anyone say,”‘my son and I worked three days for you, you were only at my place two days, you owe us money.”

Today, in our culture, we often emphasize and admire individualism. I like the old John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies as much as anyone. The hero in the white hat, riding alone, beating the bad guys was the theme of many of those classic movies. I think if we look back honestly, we would find that the building of this country was mostly done by people working together.

I hope you had the chance to see some of the news stories from Louisiana these past weeks. Neighbors were using their boats to rescue neighbors, and even strangers, from the severe flooding.

Too often today, in our busy lifestyle, we don’t spend time with our neighbors. Often we don’t even know their names. I say we, because I am as guilty as anyone.

I think our world and our country would be better if we could return to more emphasis on community, like the Christians did.

Dan Page, Lay Pastor

Pleasant Green United Methodist Church

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