GOD'S COVENANT LOVE: celebrating 30 years of God's Faithfulness in Covenant Community [Go to Table of Contents]
Counter-Cultural in a Non-Christian World
By Ellen Gryniewicz

We started out as students, barefooted and beaded, but when we started to build community, we needed more than that.  We found what was needed in tradition, the traditions of the Jewish and Christian people of God. The Lordís Day entered our life fairly early, and became a mainstay in anchoring family and household  life in stable patterns.  Community daily prayers, often done as evening prayers, also helped. Celebrating the seasons of the Christian year further enriched us, and sometimes set us apart.  Try celebrating Advent, not Christmas, in the weeks leading up to that feast, and you will experience going against the stream of  our culture.

A less ceremonial , but essential, custom which has woven together the lives of Godís people whenever they have experienced being His people, is mutual care.  We met together for support in small groups, provided meals when babies were born, helped one another move (endlessly, it seemed),  and baked cakes for many, many weddings -- sometimes two or even three a weekend.  And we prayed with each other and for each other and over each  other. And we sang an ever-increasing repertoire of songs, many of our own composing.  All of these things had been done by others before us, and had worked for them.  They worked for us also.  We became a people, a people who were noticeably different, set apart to be dedicated to serving our God.  And this identity made us able to resist, at least in part, the powerful influences trying to pull us away from Jesus and the way of life He calls us to live.  Forming a culture as a People of God  helped us to counter the non-Christian culture we live in. 

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Tom and Ellen Gryniewicz, photo taken at our 30th anniversary
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