The Lord has said from the beginning of creation, “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). We are created for community, woven together into a beautiful tapestry by the triune God.
And yet everywhere we look, the fabric of society is fraying. The recent pandemic and its effects has exposed how much loneliness afflicts our culture, even while we’re supposedly more connected than ever. In the words of one author, it’s like we’re “alone together.”
This is why we are launching the Heart for Arcadia (H4A) initiative. We are combating loneliness by building a tight-knit Christian community, because the life of faith is more joyful when we live it together. This is God's heart for Arcadia and beyond, and this is what we desire to share more and more.
We imagine the Heart for Arcadia initiative both infusing fresh energy into the ministries that we already undertake, and also inspiring a series of new endeavors— large and small—that will further weave neighbors together in the joy of Christ.
We see parishioners who are relied upon for both a clasp of prayer and a cup of sugar. We envision our church members becoming an interconnected web of neighborhood ambassadors, a corps of kingdom-weavers, that know and care for their neighbors—and attend especially to the lonely, the suffering, and the lost.
We imagine God’s people regularly breaking bread together, both in one another’s homes and together at church, and welcoming in those who long to belong to something larger than themselves. We picture young and old serving side by side to work in a garden that cultivates community as it cultivates the earth. We see unhurried conversations among believers and inquirers in a neighborhood coffeeshop.
We are pushing back against the unholy forces of sin, satan, and the world that would leave a tattered tapestry of isolated individuals, to create instead an intertwined body of believers with Christ at its heart. We desire to be a genuine family of faith whose life together as the church is centered in Sunday worship but also woven through our homes, lives, and relationships on Monday through Saturday. We don’t want to be a collection of strangers who see each other for an hour once a week, like single threads dangling side by side. We want to be a genuine community in Christ.
In all this, we strive to be a blessing to the neighbors that make up our larger community. As it says in the book of Jeremiah, “Seek the peace (shalom) of the place where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its peace you will find your peace” (Jer. 29:8). This is the Lord's heart for His people.
When we we gather the lost & lonely, we share God's heart and grow joyfully together in Christ.