PLANT, Inc. Blog
Encouraging Parent Led Education
By Felisa Palfery
Community. The word itself often invokes a human response. We were made for community. Yes – even those of us that are introverted. We desire community. Yes-even though it might be uncomfortable. We thrive in community. Yes – even though it stretches us. When you think about your own community, how would you describe it? For my husband and I, community is a place of belonging. A place of learning and growing. Over the course of our marriage, our community has changed often. Frequent moves and job demands have fostered a flexible yet necessary desire for community in our home. As the Lord has blessed us with two lovely daughters, our community has once again changed. Amidst the changes, one aspect of our community remains the same – the “why” behind the need for community.
You might be thinking – “that all sounds great & nice for your family” but our family lives in a rural area & doesn’t have a pool of people to connect with or you might be thinking “we are introverted and prefer to keep to ourselves.” As we explore this topic together, I encourage you to search your own hearts & foundations as you ask yourself, “Why does community matter?”
My husband and I are Christians. As such, we believe the Bible to be an authority on the topic at hand. In the book of Acts, Paul writes to fellow believers to encourage them. Specifically, Paul encourages the early church to be in fellowship with one another. Acts 2:42 (ESV) states, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” The Greek word “koinonia” is used in the text to define fellowship which means participation or sharing of. In biblical times, fellowship included the sharing of material goods, the breaking of bread together and praying together. So, why does community or fellowship matter? It matters because community is an integral part of God’s design for fellowship. Later in the New Testament, Paul writes again, this time to the church at Ephesus. Once again, we see the importance of community. In Ephesians 3:6, Paul writes, “This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” As we see in this verse, we were created as part of one group or body. We were created to commune together.
Why do we need community? We need community because God has designed us to commune with one another. Now, does that mean that we can never do anything alone or by ourselves? Not at all. It does however, mean that when we see and value what God values regarding community, we are more inclined to value the same.
The value of community is an integral part of our home. Our family is a community. Our church is a community. Our neighborhood is a community. Our family activities are a community. Our friends are a community. Our school is a community. Our daily interactions in and outside of our home are communal. This diverse community has created a far-reaching support network for our family. Support that we have come to appreciate & contribute to. There are times when we help meet the needs of others in our community. There are seasons when others help our family. We thrive when we operate in community.
Being involved in PLANT, Inc. advertised classes in the East Mountains has fostered community in our school environment. Our children were in involved in Spanish classes and two different STEAM classes this past year. Both electives highly encouraged communal learning & it offered our family a great opportunity to observe both academic progress and character development. This kind of learning opportunity has been a key part of the success in our school this year.
Although our communities may look different, we all can relate to going through seasons in our lives where we have tapped into our communities at varying degrees. The intent behind this blogpost is to encourage you, the reader, to introspectively look at your own lives and communities. Identify areas of your life that are in need of community. Maybe you homeschool & enjoy having a community in & around your home. Maybe you are a single parent that finds community with other single parent families. Maybe you are a married couple that enjoys a community of similar demographic. Whatever your community looks like, my hope in writing this blogpost is to encourage all of us to identify our communities, to see the benefits of community and to engage your community in a positive way. You were created for it.
My husband and I have been married for 17 years. Ten years into our marriage, we were blessed with two daughters. Prior to becoming a mom, I served in the US Air Force for 10 + years as a helicopter pilot. We live in the greater Albuquerque area and enjoy being outside to hike, camp, mountain bike, swim, ski & climb together.
PLANT, Inc. Blog is written by local parent educators and supporters of parent led education.