First Community Time Recap

Tonight was the first time the community gathered together for our Sunday meeting, which we generally call “community time.”

ImageThe theme, or “frame,” of our meeting was “meeting,” particularly referring to how you really meet a person, and the importance of recognizing our need for others in our lives.


We started with a short film to set the mood.  Link to the video for those interested.

ImageLater, we broke off into small discussion groups on questions like “Why did you join Cortina?” and “What does Cortina mean to you?”


Community member Ray Shirley, representing his discussion group “T.” For each question, groups changed, so each time everyone had to find each other anew.

ImageEventually, everyone was put into their formation groups—the groups they will serve and reflect with over the next semester.  To find their group leaders, they were given a scrap of paper with a phone number, and no other instructions.


Several groups walking up the mall to find their leaders.

ImageSome of the group leaders were particularly creative in their choice of meeting place.

ImageEventually, everyone came to Lower St. Johns to meet with representatives from the various community partners, to learn about where they will be serving.

ImageNear the end of the meeting, community director Kevin Cleary gave a short welcome, which was followed by a short blessing led by Annie Dimond.

“We pray for health: for the energy to do the good work which has been given to us.

We pray for safety: for the protection given to those who go into precarious places to proclaim peace.

We pray for friendship: for the mysterious bonds that knit us together across the aisle of difference and make life all the richer.

We pray for hope: for the creativity to meet challenges head on with the knowledge that difficulty is an opportunity to grow and to be surprised by redemption

We pray for change: for the hearts, minds, structures, and systems that create our community to be open to alteration and movement that produces flourishing both for ourselves and for those around us.

We pray for those things we don’t know that we need yet: when we need them, may we be blessed with the humility to ask and to receive.”

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