By Joshua Tomaszewski (Illinois)

 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” (Ps.133:1)

When you are stuck in a lodge for three months you are kind of forced to get to know people. This is one of the best things here at Summit Semester.

But I am someone who has a hard time meeting new people and making new friends. It is amazing how fast our relationships have formed here; we already felt like family after two weeks. Our very first week here we were assigned to read a book called Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This book described very helpfully what community is. It shows how we cannot be a true community without Jesus Christ. This book helped us understand how to live together.

At the start of our journey here at Semester, we needed to come up with rules for our community. We came up with values we all wanted to live by for the three months we are here.

Some of the values were respecting others, pointing others up toward God, and building other people up. By living by these values we have become a very tight-knit family.

If we take some of these values home with us and be diligent to put them to practice it could be transformational in the other communities in our lives. In a strong community, there is communication, respect, quality conversations, and love for one another.

Now how can we apply this to our lives back home where there are different kinds of community, like church community, friendships, and work communities? We always feel the need to fit in, because being different and the odd person out is hard. By applying these values and goals of building other people up toward God and respecting others we can avoid these situations of feeling out of place. When other people see me acting differently than everybody else when I go home and they begin to ask questions like, “why are you acting this way?” I can answer that question by pointing them to God and the values we have established.