By Mary Poston
I love reflecting on how relationship and connection have played such a major role in bringing the dWELLing to life.
The dWELLing team was abundantly blessed to be part of Kaleidoscope Institute’s Holy Currencies training last fall. Holy Currencies is an idea developed by Eric Law. He suggests that every sustainable ministry must utilize and tend to six different currencies. While most of us only interpret currency as money, he proposes five others: Gracious Leadership, Truth, Relationship, Time and Place, and Wellness.
The connections and relationships that have flowed through and into the dWELLing are so beautiful—I find myself having to sit back and reflect in gratitude upon all of them, and my heart is on the edge of its seat waiting to see what lies ahead!
This connective journey began for me when my husband Matthew announced in October 2015 that he was going to visit St. Stephens. Neither of us grew up Episcopalian, so this came somewhat as a surprise! We had been going to a small church in Kingwood, and the commute was getting longer and longer, as the church kept on moving. He visited St. Stephens the very next Sunday, and we never looked back.
While I enjoyed the church community and grew steadily under Father Ted’s teachings, it wasn’t until I learned of the Episcopal Health Foundation that I realized why God may have brought us here for a reason. Turns out the EHF was all about the vision God had planted in my heart many years earlier! I shared my vision with Father Ted (Katie and I had already connected) and Father Ted revealed that he already had a cohort in Alexis, from a connection made years earlier. Then, seemingly out of the blue, my boss, Brandon, mentioned that he had been thinking about wellness for a long time! While I could happily be a perpetual dreamer, Brandon is someone who gets things done, as evidenced by the successful medical practice he has built. Through each connection, God was linking together the parts needed to move this into reality. Then the EHF released an application for Holy Currencies training. I’ll never forget the feeling in my heart reading the front page: “Do you or someone in your congregation have an idea for wellness in your community?” Why, yes!!! Yes, we do!!!
Fast forward to the dWELLing’s formation. The Holy Currencies training reinforced what we already knew: leverage the relationships in your life to understand what people need and what they are equipped to provide. This is where it has gotten downright delightful to watch what’s transpired!
Turns out, Father Ted’s son works for a construction management service, Gallant, and his company loves to help nonprofits develop professional schematics to promote their building projects. Five professionals soon visited our prospective land to hear about the vision and take pictures. We now have a beautiful, professional rendering to take to potential supporters.
Then a friend asked, have I talked to Amy? Amy is a dear friend whose husband works for a software development consultancy, Headspring. Turns out Headspring developers and designers run an annual Give Camp during which developers and designers donate their time and talents to nonprofits! We now have an amazing professional online platform that will help us to connect with and engage our community here in Liberty.
Relationship and connections have continued to furnish various parts of the puzzle: QP Energy has offered to donate porta potties when we are ready for our outdoor events, before renovations complete the coming modern facilities. My high school English teacher and dear friend, Randy Gunter, is working on completing our IRS paperwork. We have connected with the Liberty ISD Superintendent, who shares our commitment to wellness and community.
Honestly, my favorite part of this process right now is presenting our dream to the various people in my life (at the end of a patient visit, say!), and observing their responses. So often, I see their eyes light up as they realize ways that they can connect and contribute. I have no doubt that in the same way we were created to be healthy and productive, we were made to live in community, in relationships, and in generous connection: where my gifts meet your needs, and vice versa.
As Peter said: “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” Acts 3:6 NRSV