July 2012 home page

This I Believe…
Paige Blaire, Rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Del Mar


Rector Paige Blaire.  Photo Sherryl Parks

When Anthony Corso asked me to write a This I Believe article for the Sandpiper, I agreed, but warned him that when you ask a priest to write about what she believes, well, it’ll likely have something to do with God. Learning more about this series, and its intent to reflect on our hopes for Del Mar as a community, was reassuring.

You see, we Christians believe that the Holy is experienced in community. We talk about the church as the community that is the Body of Christ. We believe that we are called into fellowship, that our faith is best practiced as part of a community. Even someone called to be a hermit is meant to be praying for a community in their solitude, and the likelihood is that community will be supporting this hermit in some way. We understand that when we try to practice our faith solo, without community, that we tend to make God in our own image and that making God in our own image is damaging to our souls. We experience the Divine through relationship with one another (those who are easy to love, and those who are more challenging), we seek and serve Christ in all persons, and we love our neighbor and one another, as God loves us…sacrificially.

So, indeed, I believe that a healthy community has the potential to be a place where we experience the Divine, through which we experience God’s love, and in which we have the privilege of serving the same, by loving one another.
What does this mean in our context in Del Mar? I believe it means we’re in it together. All of us. Those who have lived here for 50+ years and those who moved here recently. Those who have homes and those who do not. Those whose businesses are located in Del Mar and those who come home to Del Mar at the end of a work day. Those who have a great deal, from a worldly perspective, and those who are among the 23% of Del Martians whose income fall below the poverty line. That was not a typo. It’s real. When our Mayor and City Manager shared that with me in a meeting earlier this Spring I nearly fell out of my chair. 23%! Nearly a quarter of our brothers and sisters in this community.

The message we receive from our larger culture tells us that “I” matters more than “We.” I believe this is a dangerous heresy. God created us to be in relationship with one another. One sacred story teller put it this way: God saw that it was not good for the human to be alone… so God made another, to be a partner and companion. Whatever decisions we make, and our elected leaders make on our behalf, Del Mar will be best served if community, our relationships with one another, and our care of and for one another, are kept at the heart of our concern. This I believe…

This article is the 7th in a series presented by the Sandpiper editors. Previous pieces: Sam Borgese, October 2011; Art Olson, November 2011; Sherryl Parks, December 2011; Ann Gardner, February 2012, Virginia Lawrence, March 2012; and Tony Corso, May 2012.


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