What’s the difference between fellowship and community?
I suppose the best place to start is with their basic definitions:
FELLOWSHIP: an association of like-minded people sharing similar experiences, tastes, interests, etc.
COMMUNITY: a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society with which it exists
It’s pretty easy to see that what each group has in common is… whatever particular thing that each group has in common!
But the basic difference is that one is set-apart. Community begins with a fellowship but moves to another level of connection as they live their life outside the fellowship gathering. It’s something about their common everyday lifestyle that separates them from society and yet strengthens their connection with one another.
El Santuario! Our Hispanic fellowship is becoming a community. What began as almuerzo (lunch) and a common language Español (Spanish) is now moving to another level of connection and trust. It started with people from all over the globe: Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Cuba, Argentina… the list goes on and on.
We came together on the second Domingo (Sunday) of each month (in the UTURN building) and shared what seemed like a simple meal, except for the fact that Abuela’s (grandma’s) recipe for pollo (chicken) is totally different when it’s made in Honduras and not El Salvador! …not to mention the mole, enchiladas and tamales. And the unique preparation only continued when we got into the dessert menu; there was the flan and… okay enough we’re all hungry now!
By the end of the year, our lunches not only had more people attending but friendships were being developed and strengthened. Life Groups were begun and relational connection was happening in homes around the Santa Clarita Valley. Growth Groups were started where emotional, physical, and spiritual support was happening… all outside our Sunday gatherings and our lunches! Our Hispanic fellowship was becoming a COMMUNITY right before our eyes!
If you are of Hispanic heritage and are interested in joining El Santuario, we will be meeting the second Sunday of each month in the UTURN Building. Make sure to bring both our family and a dish to share!
- Pastor Marty