From Jean Cook, Silver Spring, Maryland.

JustFaith was my first faith sharing small group experience of real depth. The readings were complex and often intense. The discussions at the weekly meetings that followed led to new ways of thinking about complex issues. Even without finding solutions, we were driven to search for ways to participate more fully in that search for solutions. The friendships that developed from the nine month experience also led the group to a desire for more similar shared experiences.

When I was asked to be part of our parish’s first Habitat for Humanity experience, among the reasons I decided to go was the desire for another way to be of service and to share in a community experience similar to that experienced in JustFaith. As I gradually assumed a leadership role in the twice-yearly trips, it was because they satisfied my need to try to effect change in an unfair world.

I have continued to seek other small group experiences, such as our current “GoodNewsPeople” group. Even my twice-weekly ESL classes to poor Hispanic immigrants in the mission community of our parish are personally satisfying, not only because I see my students progress in their desire to learn English, but because of the experience of community.