Friday, 17 June 2011

Parenting our communities

Gosh I've been busy! And I love it - I love having things to do, places to go to and people to see. I love to meet new people and perhaps above all I like to be useful. I am not alone in needing to be useful. As our lives shift and re-shape we need to find new ways to be useful. As a parent we need to be mindful of our children's changing needs if we are to maintain our usefulness.

My daughter is now 18 and driving. She can cook her own meals if need be and doesn't need much apart from money and a place to sleep - well that's in the physical sense. What she does really need is a mum who will listen, talk, give advice, provide support, calm things down, crank things up and generally love her well as she prepares to move onto the next phase of her life. Change brings with it excitement and anxiety and usually a sense of leaving something behind as well as moving towards something new. I find myself listening to my daughter both about the excitement of moving on but also about the sadness of leaving her childhood and her existing life behind - it will never be the same again.

This is very much like communities. We can sense that we are moving onto the next stage of our development - so who is there for us who will listen, talk, give advice ...? Who will be a parent to our community? Who will listen to our fears of change, be with us to experience the thrill of the new and the sadness at leaving some things behind?

To some extent we do this ourselves and if we have a minister who can take a more objective view then that can be very helpful. Perhaps there is someone in the District or nationally who can be there. If we are to feel confident in our development I suspect that many of us would like some wise counsel and a steady hand to help us on our way. How can we make this happen for each other?

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