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Village/Community/Tribe
by Cheryl Rompa
Imbolc 2002, Vol 1-2
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Service in Our Communities

Service in our communities is often thought of as doing something for an organization or agency that helps with a disenfranchised group of people with specific needs. Serving others in this way is very needed and appreciated by each group we contribute to. I also look to another group that can use our service -- and that group is each other.

Many of us have had an obligation to serve others for most of our lives and with that obligation has come the resentment that builds after years of serving and not caring for ourselves. Others of us would like to be of service and struggle with knowing or valuing what we might have to offer if we are called upon to help. Finding ways to support each other's self-care and to also be of service to one another can be a struggle for community at times.

Recently when a sister of our congregation had a health crisis, I was asked to help organize women who could do the necessary everyday things that we all need. These things included grocery shopping, caring for my friend’s cats and fixing food that was healthy and easy to prepare -- for my friend and her partner both. There were also women who came to take out garbage, to visit with my friend as she was recovering, and to lend a healing hand along the way. There is the cat litter to be scooped and the dishes to be washed and the hands to be held. All of these and many others are the sacred acts of love directly built into our communities. The action of making these kinds of commitments is a blessing to both the woman who receives the gift and the woman who gives the gift.

We are communities of varying abilities and skills. When we use our talents to help one another we are making holy our actions of love. We open our hearts, our hands, our wallets, our minds and our lives by serving those closest to us. With this commitment to each other we help our communities grow and nourish the lifeblood of every one of us.

"I don't think our loved ones make our lives, but loving them does." (Sarah, True Women)