Searching for thin places, Notion of Priority

July 25, 2012

Notion of Priority

The Iona Community is a collection of similar minded Christians, who place an emphasis on peace and justice, in all the variety of forms in which they may or may not make themselves obvious. It is an ecumenical group of folk, so they probably don't share common practices from their faith traditions, but they do share a love of Christ and explore ways to extend that love to the world. They have lots of different ways of creating opportunities for that very thing; running the two centres on Iona, and the one on Mull, providing worship and spiritual resources through their publishing branch, and through a mission outreach program to people living in urban centres which they call Priority Areas.

Isn't that cool? Ministry with the poor is labelled Priority area, and the community lives into that by making that ministry a priority in their life. It seems so Gospel like, just as Jesus placed the priority on being with and ministering with the poor. It is so often easy to give lip service to a ministry and say it’s important, but in the end it appears not to be so. Or how embarrassing would it be to call something a Priority but then not bring realization to the name. But that it NOT what occurred. The culmination of the effort by the Community resulted in about 60 people being able to leave the urban environment and come and spend a week on the Island of Iona, and participating in a holiday (vacation) program designed to mimic the Olympic Games. For me it was similar to spending the week in Sihanoukville with the Cambodian lay leaders, who had never been to the beach before.
The members of the Iona Community may not know for months, maybe years, how their efforts influenced the lives of the people. But for those of us that were privileged enough to have the opportunity to work directly with these guests they changed our lives with their smiles, their stories and their generosity.

It was a thin place.