The application for Cycle 2 of the Co-Creators Incubator is now open through December 7, 2020. Visit to apply.

Trend #3: Reflections on belonging, community, common unity

By the Rev. Dr. Suzanne Kershaw

Belonging gives us a sense of being a participant in something bigger than ourselves. When we are part of a group, organization or some other structure of community, we are granted access to the thoughts, opinions, dreams, visions, gifting and talents of others. Belonging gives us the opportunity to pursue our purpose, while being a beneficiary of the well of knowledge and experiences of others that offers us clarity regarding our own life’s journey. 

“Community: The Structure of Belonging” by Peter Block informs us that “Community offers the promise of belonging and calls for us to our interdependence. To belong is to act as an investor, owner, and creator of this place. To be welcome, even if we are strangers. As if we came to the right place and are affirmed for that choice. To feel a sense of belonging is important because it will lead us from conversations about safety and comfort to other conversations, such as our relatedness and willingness to provide hospitality and generosity. Hospitality is the welcoming of strangers, and generosity is an offer with no expectation of return. These are two elements that we want to nurture as we work to create, strengthen, and restore our communities.   This will not occur in a culture dominated by isolation, and its correlate, fear”[1]

Common unity is the space that is created when we seek, stumble upon or are invited to share when grasping the experience of embracing “common ground.” As God’s creation, we were created to be in relationship with one another, whether through the relationships of family, friends, houses of worship, work, school or other places.

During this moment of the Coronavirus Pandemic known as COVID-19, as a country and even the global community, we have witnessed firsthand the uncertainty created by the requirement for social distancing. This requirement has manifested itself in mental stress or, in some cases, depression created by limited or restricted human interaction. Although we have the access to technology for conducting video conference calls, they are not a substitute for human presence. 

Belonging, community and common unity are essential ingredients for the missional entrepreneurial journey to ensure the development and fostering of one’s goals and ultimate achievement of touching the world in a way that makes a positive difference in the lives of others.

[1] Block, P. (2008). Introduction/Communities That Work for All. In Community the structure of belonging (p. 3). San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler a BK Business book.

The Rev. Dr. Suzanne Kershaw’s Co-Creators project is “Empowering Tools,” which seeks to offer home and automotive repair training to women at no cost to them.