The Green
Arlington
Bibury
Cirencester
Gloucestershire

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Rev. Martin Mills
A few advertisements seen recently on the “Freecycle” community website
Gloucester – Christmas cards, all have one side unmarked
Sapperton – Large rock, will not fit in estate car
Nottingham – Newspapers, large collection 1989-1993 plus firebrick making machine
Cheltenham – Goosefat for cooking or insulation purposes

As random as they are these “free to collector” items were recently advertised on the Freecycle community website.
The word Community comes from the Latin communitas “public spirit” communis “shared in common”
Communities often share a sense of place that is situated in a given geographical area (e.g. a country, village, town, or neighborhood) or in virtual space through communication platforms.







In the animated film Ice-Age, a baby boy is discovered by a wooly mammoth named Manfred, a sloth name Sid, and a saber-tooth tiger named Diego. These three unlikely companions unite on a common mission to return the baby to his father. During the treacherous journey they undertake Manfred, unwilling to let Diego perish, leaps into a chasm after him and tosses the tiger upwards to safety. Diego, realizing the danger involved in the rescue, is moved by Manfred's compassion, courage, and sacrifice. "Why did you do that?" he asks. "You could have died trying to save me."
Humbly, the mammoth responds, "That's what you do when you're part of a herd. You look after each other." Amazed at the convergence of circumstances that has brought these three together, Sid muses aloud. "I don't know about you guys, but we are one strange herd."

Don’t you feel that is a great description of the village community sometimes? One strange herd!

It is certainly true of our church community here at Arlington Baptist Church we are a mix of people with different personalities, different backgrounds, different ideas sometimes, who might never hang out together— except for the one thing that we have in common: we love Jesus. And in one way or another, we have been transformed by His amazing love and mercy. Because of that, we hang out together. But even more than that, as the film illustrates in a cute way, as a “herd” of Christ followers, we look after each other—even if we might look a little strange at times.
For us the challenge is always to embrace this community, we see ourselves as fellow workers.
As someone has said, both dinner guests and family members may enjoy the same meal. The difference is that at the end of the meal, family members also do the dishes.
It’s appropriate to be a dinner guest—for a while. But there comes a time when it’s appropriate to get up and help with the dishes. Perhaps there are areas that God has laid on your heart where you would love to dive into community and service, but you just haven’t dared to yet.

It is my prayer that our community would become a place filled with people who know each other as brothers and sisters, fellow workers and fellow soldiers. To the world, we might look like one strange herd, but when the love of Jesus flows through us, they’ll desperately want to join in.
1 Peter 3;8
Finally, all of you, be like minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.