Villa la Paz Newsletter June 2013

Posted on June 1, 2013 
Filed Under Villa La Paz Newsletters

Koinonia: the anglicisation of a Greek word that means communion by intimate participation.

It embraces concepts conveyed by the English terms community, communion, joint participation, sharing and intimacy. It identifies the ideal state of fellowship that should exist within the Christian church.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is in the shelter of each other that people live.
Irish proverb

Your life and my life flow into each other as wave flows into wave, and unless there is peace and joy and freedom for you, there can be no real peace or joy or freedom for me. To see reality-not as we expect it to be but as it is-is to see that unless we live for each other and in and through each other, we do not really live very satisfactorily; that there can really be life only where there really is, in just this sense, love.
Frederick Buechner

Once we begin not to worry about what kind of house we are living in, what kind of clothes we are wearing, we have time, which is priceless, to remember that we are our brother’s keeper, and that we must not only care for his needs as far as we are immediately able, but try to build a better world.
Dorothy Day

Imagine the type of world we would have if everyone engaged in koinonia. Imagine a world without poverty, without wars, without violence, without crime, without fear. Imagine a world without hunger, without homelessness, without hopelessness, without desperation. Imagine a world filled with love, compassion, a world where everyone considered the other a brother or sister and acted accordingly. A dream, a fantasy impossible to achieve? It is difficult to contemplate a homeless person, who is usually dirty and malodorous and consider him or her a brother or sister and act accordingly. It is difficult to interact with a disagreeable, irritable, argumentative person and consider him or her a brother or sister and act accordingly. But that is precisely what the gospel enjoins us to do. In the Greek New Testament the word koinonia is used twenty times, each time to exhort the reader to foster love, compassion and community with those he interacts with. Certainly the model of love, compassion and community is Jesus, the Word of God, Who associated with the poor, the ignorant, the marginalized and Who committed His life to the salvation of all. Only in the imitation of Jesus and His kenotic love can we achieve koinonia with those we come into contact with and embrace them as our brothers and sisters.

The interactions of children are a good example of koinonia. When a new child enters our home the others are quick to console and welcome him/her. For most of our children their entrance into our home is their first separation from their family. Most are quite distressed but are quickly succored by our “veteran” children who have been with us for some time. If a child cannot accede to a bathroom an older child will take him or her and assist in toileting and bathing. There are, of course, disagreements and arguments but the overall mood is one of community, fellowship and love. Every child has the potential to be a channel of God’s love and peace to the world.

The soul is healed by being with children.
Fyodor Dostoevsky

God sends children for another purpose than to merely keep the race-to enlarge our hearts and to make us unselfish and full of kindly sympathies and affections.
Mary Howitt

We thank you for your community, fellowship and love of our children and all the children of the world. They are our future and only hope. We must nurture them and foster in them the concept of koinonia. We love you and wish you God’s peace.

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