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How have you nurtured and sustained genuine community in the life of your church?

The compelling vision of our church is to create a "faith village," in which the primary model of family is the intergenerational collective. Here we can all benefit from the complex diversity of age, stage, ethnicity, and class. While it is daunting to overcome the prevailing influences of individualism and the focus on the biological family, we have managed to move over half of our congregation into parish-based "Neighborhood Sedaqah Groups." There they are encouraged to practice our core values of hope, humility, and hospitality. Some of these groups are little more than Bible studies, but many others have gone deeper in exploring spiritual disciplines and sharing real needs and concerns.

We also try to embody this communal spirit in our worship services, from the more conversational mode of preaching to the enticement of our gospel-flavored music. We are in the process of remodeling and expanding our church campus so that even the structures and spaces feel more like a "faith village." ...

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