Word of the Year: Participation

Camas Friends Church will continue its tradition of having a theme or focal “word of the year.” Our word for 2017 is PARTICIPATION.

As we begin to explore the importance of this word for our meeting this year, here are some questions and responses to facilitate reflection:

What does participation require of me?

You. When you participate, you participate. You share something distinct—your abilities, talents, resources, perspective, personality, etc. You have something unique to offer to others that no one else does.

In what or whom can I participate at Camas Friends Church?

You could participate in an individual’s life. Or a group. Or an event. Or a shared project or ministry. This could mean many things in regard to CFC.

You could participate in the lives of individuals like Heather or Wylie or Sherry or Ben.

You could participate in the lives of CFC’s children. Or in the lives of those outside of our meeting who rely on CFC for help with food, laundry, and shelter. Or in the lives of those within our meeting when particular needs arise (like housework, a ride, or a listening ear).

You could participate in ongoing experiences like Fresh Bread, Sunday meetings for worship, Laundry Love, Car Camping, Youth Group, or (some new experience we haven’t yet thought of but you have).

You could participate in the way of life CFC values as good, sacred, and true by living lives of peace, justice, generosity, and simplicity (which, of course, can happen anywhere).

Say more about what you think about participation, Matt, I’m so curious to know more.

Participation is a mutual experience. When you participate in something, you have an impact on that in which you participate, even if only small. And what you participate in impacts you. You affect and are affected. You give and receive. You change others and others change you.

Your participation can mean an expansion or enrichment of something existing or the creation of something wholly new.

Why should I participate?

Because we each have a role to play, something unique to contribute, a story to share, a place at the table, a voice to be heard, a part in the song. We also participate because others benefit when we play our role, make our contribution, share our story, take our place at the table, share our voice, and sing our part.

Please journey with us as we grow in our understanding of what it means to be a participatory community. Contact Matt (or someone) and share your ideas. Set specific goals for yourself to increase your participation in the life of our meeting. Stretch yourself! Others may be better off for it.