Knowing and Being Known- Excerpt from my new book The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together. Is available on amazon now (paperback and kindle).

by Mark Votava


“Mark Votava’s book is like a smooth stone in a churning stream.  When all around us seems to be prone to speed, consumption, movement and success, The Communal Imagination is a sure and unwavering call to simplicity, presence, attentiveness and collaboration.  Read it slowly.  It calls us to nothing less than a new way to be human.”  Michael Frost, author of Incarnate and The Road to Missional  

  •  Becoming fully human through relationship

Living relationally within the parish transforms what we think we know about ourselves, about God, and about others.  We are pushed to become fully human through relationship.  The relationship we have with each person can be a reflection of God to us. God both gives and receives love through relationships with others.

  •  The body of Christ cannot be separated from relationship

The body of Christ cannot be separated from relationship to one another.  We need one another to be human.  We need one another to learn about our own spirituality.

  • Our relational connections become a part of who we are

When we inhabit a neighborhood, that place and the relational connections that we develop there become a part of who we are.  They are intertwined with our redemption and salvation.  We only know truth through relationship.

  •  Knowing and being known will shape who we become  

Without relationship we cannot know anything.  Knowing and being known is the truth that will set us free from our own limited imaginations.  Knowing and being known relationally will shape who we become as we inhabit the parish throughout the complexities of life.

  •  We are who we are because of the communities in which we dwell

There is no abandoning this relational context when you have experienced it in a place. Christopher L. Heuertz and Christine D. Pohl say in their book Friendship at the Margins, “We are who we are because of the communities in which we dwell.”

How have you been shaped by the relational context in which you live?