In a world more connected than ever, there are a lot of isolated people walking around. Cellphones, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—each social medium promises to increase our relational connectedness, yet the superficial connection which these mediums encourage leave most of us feeling empty. How many people really know you? We live in a high-connection, low-relationship society. The story that informs this way of life is the story of individualism. What does it mean to be human? To be autonomous individuals—like billiard balls that bounce off one another without leaving a mark.
In the face of this, the church offers a very different understanding of what it means to be human. Made in the image of the Triune God (Genesis 1:27), we were made for communion with God and community with one another. Early on in the biblical story, Cain finds out that, yes, he is indeed his brother’s keeper, and Abel’s life ought to be precious to him (Genesis 4:1-16). To be human, then, is to love your sister and brother, to be vitally connected to them, to care for their good ahead of your own. Such love of neighbor reflects the love of God into the world. As the Apostle John writes, “No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us” (1 John 4:12).
At Fleetwood, we’re trying to create a place in which people can genuinely belong. True hospitality means creating space for the other, and we’re committed to being a place of acceptance and belonging for all those who are seeking God, and who are attempting to take seriously what it means to be a follower of Jesus.