Dancing to the Drum of Social Capital

by Mark Votava

Toronto Yonge-Dundas Square

Sometimes I look at all of this commuter church stuff and just think that the people leading these kinds of gatherings should give up the whole thing and shut it down.  I don’t see any point to the body of Christ if it is not embodied in everyday life together in a particular place for the good of the culture around them.  I think commuter Christianity is so destructive because it creates a massive duality between our everyday lives and our spirituality.  This medium suggests that our spirituality has nothing to do with our everyday lives as the medium is the message.

  •  Living in collaboration

We must live in collaboration with men and women in the place we inhabit together to build social capital and neighborliness among us.  We must connect with others in this way to cultivate the parish imagination.  We must work cooperatively in neighborliness with others to create a different kind of world for all of us.  A new world will begin to develop through social capital in the parish.

  •  There is no time for destruction, for hatred, for anger

Twentieth century visionary Ivan Illich writes, “We must therefore strive cooperatively to create the new world.  There is no time left for destruction, for hatred, for anger.  We must build, in hope and joy and celebration.  Let us meet the new era of abundance with self-chosen work and freedom to follow the drum of one’s own heart.  Let us recognize… that we will choose those areas of activity which will contribute to our own development and will be meaningful to our society.”

  •  Following the drum of social capital

We need to follow the drum of social capital and neighborliness through the parish imagination in the place we inhabit together.  We must build this with a sense of celebration.  We must build this with a sense of love.  We must build this with a sense of intuition.

  •  Leading us a long way together

This is work that is good and meaningful in our postmodern culture of confusion and fragmentation.  Is there anything meaningful still today?  Social capital and neighborliness could lead us a long way together in the place we live.

  •  Relational care in the parish

Social capital is all about others.  Neighborliness is all about others.  Social capital and neighborliness are about relational care in the parish.  This is what the body of Christ is to practice together.

  •  The neighbor cannot be ignored

Social capital is about loving your neighbor.  Neighborliness is about loving your neighbor.  The gospel is about the neighbor.  The neighbor cannot be ignored in the parish.

  •  Other people make up life

The neighbor is all that matters to God in the place we live.  Legendary social activist Dorothy Day states, “All our life is bound up with other people…”  Other people make up life.

How can we love our neighbors in the parish?  How can we live into the drum of social capital and collaboration?